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The Customs of the Musalmdns of India 






Sure/ eon on the Madras Establishment 



WILLIAM CROOKE, CLE., Hon. D.Sc. Oxon.,Hon. Litt.D. Dublin 








Dedication of the First Edition 


















' In the name of God, the Mer- '^.,. ^ru 

4 , 1 ,^ • , • this Thy 

^^j 1 .,, ciful and Compassionate ! ui • t 

Work with [ '- ) blessing ! 

Glory be to that God who has, out of a drop of fluid, 
created such a variety of creatures, rational and irrational ! ^ 
Adored be that Creator, who has established such a variety 
of forms, statures, and vocal sounds among them, though 
their origin is the same pure, liquid, and genuine spirit ! 

In praise of the Prophet,. Muhammad, A thousand 
salutations and benedictions to his Sublime Holiness 
Muhammad Mustafa, the Chosen, — The Blessing and 
Peace of God be with him ! Salla-l-ldhu ""alaihi — through 
whose grace the sacred Koran descended from the Most 
High ! 2 How inadequate is man justly to praise and 
eulogize Him ! Salutation and blessing also to His Com- 
panions and posterity ! 

My object in composing the present work is this : I 
Ja'far Sharif, alias Lala Miyan, son of 'All Sharif, who has 
received the mercy of the Lord ^ — of the Quraish ^ tribe 
born at Nagor ^ — may God illuminate his tomb ! — pardon 
his iniquities and sanctify his soul ! — a native of Uppu 

* Koran, xcvi. 1-2. ° Ibid., xxvi. 193-6, liii. 4-6. 

' Marhum, a euphemistic term, meaning ' deceased ', ' one who has 
received mercy from God.' 

* The Arab tribe to which the Prophet belonged. 

* Nagor, village of the serpent tribe (ndga-ur), now included in Nega- 
patam (Nagapathanam, ' town of the Nagas '), in the Tanjore District, 
Madras (I.G.I., xix. 3). 


Ellore *, have for a considerable time been in attendance 
upon English gentlemen of high rank and noble mind — 
May their good fortune ever continue ! — and under the 
shadow of their wings have nourished both my soul and 
body : or, in other words, my office has been that of a 
teacher of languages. 

Gentlemen of penetration used often to observe to me 
with the deepest interest, that if a concise book were 
written in a familiar style, and in the genuine DakkhinI 
language,^ containing a full account of all the necessary 
rites, customs, and usages observed by Musalmans, 
Europeans would not only read it with pleasure, but 
would derive much useful knowledge from its perusal. 
However, hitherto owing to want of leisure this humble 
individual has not been able to undertake anything of the 
kind. But, in the present instance, at the kind request of 
a i^ossessor of favour and kindness, a man of great learning 
and magnanimity, a mine of humanity, a fountain of 
generosity, a just appreciator of the worth of both high and 
low, well versed in the mysteries of philosophy, a Plato of 
the age, in medicine a second Galen, nay, the HijDjDOcrates 
of the day. Dr. Herklots, a man of virtue, an ocean of 
liberality. May his good fortune ever continue and his age 
increase ! ^ I have endeavoured, to the extent of my poor 

* Telugu Uppueluru, ' salt village of rule ', the modem Ellore, in 
Kistna District, Madras (ibid., xii. 23, Madras Manual of Administration, 
iii. 614). 

^ DakkhinI or Deccan Hindostani ' differs somewhat from the modern 
standard of Delhi and Lucknow, and retains several archaic features 
which have disappeared in the north ' (/. G. I., i. 366). 

* Dr. Herklots adds the following note : ' At the very earnest solicita- 
tion of the Author, the translator has been prevailed on (very much 
against his own inclination) to allow the above hyperbolical eulogiums to 
remain, though conscious of his being little entitled to them. He has been 
induced to accede to the Author's wish more particularly to show the 
remarkable proneness of this class of people to Uattery.' 


abilities, to arrange this work under different heads, and 
entitled it ' Qanun-i-Islam ', i. e. ' The Customs of the 
Musalmans '. ^ 

Although various Hindostani authors have occasionally 
adverted to similar subjects, yet no work extant contains so 
full an account of them as has been given here. I have also 
included in it local customs which have been super-added 
to the laws prescribed by the sacred Koran and Hadis,^ 
observed by Musalmans, in order that the liberal-minded 
Englishman should not continue ignorant of, or remain in 
the dark as to any rite or ceremony observed by Musalmans. 

Although this Author, who deems himself no wiser than 
a teacher of the A B C, be somewhat acquainted with the 
science of divinity, i. e. the knowledge of the interpreta- 
tion of the Koran and the Hadis, or precepts of Muhammad, 
as well as with law and medicine, he has confined himself 
merely to a narration of the established and indispensable 
customs commonly observed by the Musalmans in the 
Dakkhin, and to an idiom of language calculated to be 
understood by even the illiterate. Of him who can judge 
of the state of the pulse of the pen, i. e. estimate the 
beauty of composition, and is likewise erudite, I have 
this request to make, that should he observe any errors 
in it, he would kindly consign them to oblivion by erasing 
them with his quill. 

This work was completed Anno Hijrae 1243, correspond- 
ing with Anno Domini 1832.^ 

* Qanun, Greek khvw, — ' canon, ordinance, regulation.' 

" Hadis, plural Ahddis, ' a saying, revelations delivered to the Prophet 
in addition to those contained in the Koran, and held to be authoritative 
on moral, ceremonial, or doctrinal questions ' (Hughes, 639). 

* The Muhammadan era of the Hijra, or ' Flight ', is dated from the 
first day of the month preceding the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to 
Medina, i. e. Thursday, 15 July, a.d. 622, and it commenced on the day 
following. For the rules used in converting these dates into those of the 
Christian era, see EB. iv. 1001. 


The manners, customs, social habits, and religious rites 
of nations have ever been esteemed an object of rational 
and interesting inquiry ; hence, with this view, travellers 
have explored the remotest regions and antiquarians 
pushed their researches into the farthest verge of recorded 
history. The toils of the journey, the uncongeniality of 
climate, the savage character of the inhabitants have not 
been able to deter the progress of the former ; the labour 
of solitary study, the scantiness of the materials, or the 
dark mists of antiquity have failed to damp the ardour of 
the latter. The adventurous foot of man has penetrated 
the dark forests of America, crossed the burning deserts 
of Africa, and ascended the lofty snow-clad summits of 
the Himalaya ; his ships have swept the ocean and visited 
the most sequestered shores, from the dreary abodes of the 
torpid Esquimaux to the tepid isles of cheerful Otaheite 
and the inhospitable coast of the cannibals of New Zealand : 
and though nature, inanimate and irrational, has not 
escaped his notice, yet his own species under every variety 
of form has chiefly attracted his attention and engrossed 
his reflections ; feeling, in the words of the poet, that 
' The proper study of mankind is man.' 

If the manners and customs of other tribes of men be 
worthy of our study, certainly not less so are those of the 
Muhammadan natives of India. They are the immediate 
descendants of the race of conquerors who exercised 
supreme dominion over the greater part of that vast 


country for so many centuries, until it fell into British 
hands. As their successors in Indian rule, we must 
naturally feel a curiosity regarding the character and habits 
of our predecessors in power, now our subjects. And it is 
not a topic of philosophical speculation merely, but a 
matter of real practical utility, to understand thoroughly 
a people with whom we have constant transactions and 
daily intercourse, in the relationsj of public officers, soldiers, 
and subjects, in administering the government of the 

The utility of a work directed to this object is so obvious 
that it appears to me a matter of no small surprise some- 
thing of the kind has not hitherto been undertaken. On 
the History, Religion, Manners, Customs, «fec., of the 
Hindus, ample information may be obtained from valuable 
works already before the public, such as Mill's History of 
British India, Moor's Hindoo Pantheon, Ward's History, 
Literature, Mythology, Manners, and Customs of the Hindoos, 
Coleman's Mythology, the Abbe Dubois on the Manners 
and Customs of the Hindoos, and others. But, as far as my 
knowledge extends, no similar work exists giving a metho- 
dical account of the Muhammadan branch of the Indian 
population which embraces the various subjects com- 
prehended in this, or which treats of them individually 
with sufficient precision and accuracy. From the compara- 
tive simplicity of the Muhammadan system of religion, its 
followers are less accessible to the influence of conversion, 
and may have therefore attracted less attention from 
Christian missionaries, who are the closest observers of 
a people among whom they pursue their pious labours, 
while few Europeans could have acquired the minute and 
curious information necessary for composing such a work ; 
and learned natives did not think of describing to their 
own countrymen matters which they knew from daily 
observation and practice. 


But whatever may have been the cause of the almost 
total neglect of this interestmg field of inquiry, I shall 
proceed to explain, the object of the following sheets. 
It is to give a detailed account of the customs adopted 
and observed in India, more particularly in the Dakkhin, 
vulgarly written Deccan, i. e. the Peninsula or southern 
part of India, by the followers of the Arabian Prophet, in 
addition to the duties inculcated on them in the Koran 
and Hadis. Among the customs described, not a few will 
be discovered to have been borrowed from the Hindus ; 
and although the work professes to treat on the customs 
of the Musalmans, it will be found interspersed also with 
observations on their manners. 

To guard against misconception on the part of those who 
have a partial knowledge of India, it may be remarked that 
many of the customs described in this work are peculiar 
to the Dakkhin, and some of them are observed only at 
certain places, not throughout every part of that division 
of India, far less in remote quarters of the country, such as 
Bombay, Bengal, and Upper Hindostan. Yet a very 
general resemblance will be found in the manners and 
customs of the Muhammadan inhabitants in all parts of it- 

The following is the plan which the Author has followed 
in describing his countrymen. He traces an individual 
from the period of birth, and even before it, through all the 
forms and ceremonies which religion, superstition, and 
custom have imposed on the Indian Musalman. The 
account begins with the ceremonies at the seventh month 
of the mother's pregnancy, details the various rites per- 
formed by the parents during the several periods of the 
lives of their children as they grow to maturity, and the 
almost endless ceremonies of matrimony. Then follow the 
fasts, festivals, &c., which occur in the different months of 
the year. These are succeeded by an account of vows, 
oblations, and many minor subjects, such as the pretended 


science of necromancy, exorcism or the casting out of 
devils, detecting thieves, determining the most auspicious 
times for undertaking journeys or other enterprises, all 
of which are matters of almost daily occurrence : and the 
whole concludes with an account of their sepulchral rites 
and the visiting of the grave at stated periods during the 
first year after death. For a fuller view of the extent and 
variety of the subjects discussed and the order of arrange- 
ment I must refer to the Table of Contents. 

The persons to whom I conceive the work will prove 
most acceptable are, in the first place, gentlemen in the 
service of the Honourable East India Company generally ; 
and, in particular, all military officers serving in India, 
more especially those on the Madras Establishment. For 
example, how often during the year do we find Musalmans 
of a native regiment apply for leave or exemption from 
duty to celebrate some feast or other, when the comman- 
dant to whom such request is submitted, being un- 
acquainted, as frequently happens, with either the nature 
of the feast or the necessity of attending it, cannot be 
certain that in granting the application he is doing justice 
to the service, or that in refusing it he would not infringe 
upon the religious feelings of his troops. If an officer be 
more endowed than others with a spirit of inquiry, he may 
ask after the nature of the feast for which the holiday is 
solicited. The only reply he obtains is some strange name 
which, though to a native it may be very expressive and 
quite explicit, is to him as a foreigner altogether un- 
intelligible. Should he inquire further, his want of suffi- 
cient knowledge of the language prevents him from under- 
standing the explanations offered, and these are often 
rendered still more dark by the ignorance of the informers 
themselves, of whom few even know the origin and nature 
of the feast they are about to celebrate. This want of 
knowledge the present work is intended to supply, and 


how far the Author has succeeded I leave to the judgement 
of the reader. 

Having myself felt the want of such a work ever since 
my arrival in India, I set about collecting all the intelli- 
gence procurable relative to the various subjects comprised 
in these pages. To accomplish this object, it must be 
admitted, was no easy task in a country where the natives, 
as is well known, are very reluctant to impart information 
respecting their religious rites, ceremonies, &c. This arises 
perhaps from an unwillingness to expose themselves 
to the ridicule of persons of totally different national 
customs and religious faith, or from a wish simply to keep 
Europeans in the dark, under a vague apprehension that 
frankness would ultimately prove to their own detriment. 
I had succeeded, notwithstanding, in accumulating a 
pretty extensive stock of the requisite materials, when I 
accidentally became acquainted with the liberal-minded 
Author of these sheets. At my particular request he com- 
posed in the Dakkhini language the treatise now presented 
to the public, while I acted merely as a reviser, and 
occasionally suggested subjects which had escaped his 

Though the enlightened English reader will smile at 
some of the notions gravely propounded by an Oriental 
writer, yet I must do my Author the justice to say that in 
all my intercourse with natives of India I have seldom met 
with a man who had so much of the European mode of 
thinking and acting, or who was so indefatigable in the 
pursuit of knowledge. He was penetrating and quick of 
comprehension, and, according to my professional judge- 
ment, a skilful and scientific physician. 

I have made the translation as literal as the different 
idioms of the two languages would admit of, bearing in 
mind that though a free translation has often more ease 
and elegance, a close version is more characteristic of the 


original. And I considered this the more important as I 
have some intention of publishing hereafter the Oriental 
version of this work/ and conceive that the close corre- 
spondence between the two will be of great advantage to 
the young Oriental student. 

As my object has been to give a complete and precise 
idea of the things described, I have by a full and minute 
description avoided the obscurity which often arises from 
vagueness of language and brevity of expression. During 
the progress of the work and researches connected with it, 
a large quantity of useful miscellaneous information has 
come into my hands. Part of this I have comprised in an 
Appendix under the heads of Relationship, Weights and 
Measures, Dresses of Men and Women, Female Ornaments, 
Muhammadan Cookery, Musical Instruments, Fireworks, 
Games, and Children's Plays. 

[Here follows an account of the S5'^stem of transliteration 
adopted by the translator.] 

For the sake of the European reader and those unacquainted 
with the native language of India I have subjoined a 
copious Glossary of all Oriental words occurring and which 
have not been already explained in the body of the work 
or in the Index, in which it was found more convenient to 
insert the Oriental terms expressive of such subjects as are 
particularly treated of in the work. All the Oriental 
words are put in italics, and this will serve as an intimation 
that every word so distinguished will be found explained in 
the Glossary or Index. 

Since this work was prepared for press I have had an 
opportunity of consulting two recent publications which 
throw considerable light on the subject : viz, the correct 
and interesting Observations on the Miissiilmauns of India, 
by Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 1832,2 ^nd the learned and 

' The Hindostani version was not published, and has been lost. 
" Republished, Oxford. 191G. 


curious Memoires sur les Particiilarites de la Religion 
Mussulmane dans VInde (Paris 1831), by that ingenious 
and profound Orientalist tlie Professor of Hindostanl to 
the Frencli Government, Monsieur Garcin de Tassy. I 
have carefully compared their labours with the following 
sheets, and whenever I found anything of interest and 
importance in them which had been omitted or otherwise 
stated by my Author, I have supplied the omission, or 
marked the difference in notes and a few addenda, so as 
to render this work, as far as possible, complete. I may 
now therefore, I think, venture to say that it embraces 
an account of all the peculiarities of the Musalmans worthy 
of note in every part of India. 

I would remark that any one at all conversant with the 
Muhammadans or their faith will instantly perceive that 
the first work above alluded to embraces the opinions of 
a Shi'a and that of my Author of a Sunni or orthodox 
Musalman. The two works thus develop the conflicting 
opinions of the two great sects who entertain the most 
inveterate hatred towards each other, and, combined, 
afford as complete an insight into the national character 
of that race as can reasonably be desired or expected. 
Barring the difference of their religious notions, the general 
description given of their manners, customs, &g., accord so 
entirely that so far from one at all detracting from the 
merits of the other, the statements of the English lady and 
the Indian Musalman will be found to afford each other 
mutual support and illustration. 


London, 1st September 1832. 




Since the publication of the EngHsh version of this work 
in 1832 it has maintained its reputation as one of the most 
authoritative accounts of the behefs and practices of the 
Musahnans of India. Sir R. Burton, an eminent authority 
on such questions, writes : ' I know no work upon the 
subject of the south Indian Hindis that better deserves 
a reprint, with notes and corrections ' ; and in his version 
of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night he speaks 
of it as ' an excellent work ', praising in particular the 
chapters on the use of astrology as a means of prognosticat- 
ing events. 1 It has been the source from which later 
writers on Islam in India have derived much information. 
For the anthropologist the chapters on the various forms 
of Magic, domestic rites, and the many festivals of the 
Musalmans will provide much novel and interesting detail. 

The original edition gives little or no information about 
the author and the translator. Inquiries kindly made at 
the India Office by Mr. W. Foster, C.I.E., Registrar and 
Superintendent of Records, and by Mr. A. G. Ellis, Assis- 
tant Librarian ; in India by the British Resident at the 
Court of H.H. The Nizam of Hyderabad ; at Madras by 
Mr. F. J. Richards, I.C.S., have eUcited some facts of 
importance. The Resident at Hyderabad merely states 
that the author, Ja'far Sharif, ' was a man of low origin 
and of no account in his own country ', and that no in- 
formation about his career is now procurable. He was, as 
appears from his own statement, a Munshi or tutor, 
» SiTid Revisited, i. 308 : AN, i. 196. 


employed in teaching Arabic, Persian, and Urdu to officers 
in the service of the Madras Government. In the course of 
these duties he gained the patronage of Mr. G. A. Herklots, 
M.D., a Surgeon on the Madras estabUshment, by whose 
encouragement he was induced to compile the Qdnun-i- 
Isldm, the rules of religious and social life in force among 
his co-religionists, the Musalmans of southern India. He 
was also a skilful physician, following the established 
methods of Muhammadan medicine. Further than this 
we know nothing of his personal history, except that he 
was possibly a resident of the municipal town Ellore in the 
Kistna District, Madras Presidency, where he finished the 

He was an orthodox Musalman of the Sunni sect, but he 
shows little intolerance towards the beliefs of the rival sect 
of Shi'as, which gained considerable influence in southern 
India owing to patronage at the Court of Bijapur, where 
half the members of the 'Adil Shahi dynasty (a. d. 1490- 
1626) were Sunnis and half Shi'as. From their rather pre- 
carious position as strangers in a foreign land, rulers of 
a people mostly of Dravidian origin, the 'Adil Shahis were 
forced to adopt a policy of toleration towards Musalman 
sectaries as well as Christians and Hindus. Like all men 
of his class, he believed in Magic and sorcery, but his 
association with Europeans seems to have checked his 
credulity, and he sometimes writes about these questions 
in a deprecatory, half apologetic tone. He was learned in 
the history and literature of the Faith, and he obviously 
describes it in a spirit of honest belief, but with candour 
and discrimination. 

We know more of the career of Dr. G. A. Herklots, the 
editor and translator of the book. He belonged to a 
family of Dutch origin settled in the town of Chinsura in 
Bengal, now included in the Hooghly municipality. The 
Dutch established themselves there in the early part of the 


seventeenth century and held the place till 1825, when it 
was ceded by the Netherlands to Great Britain in part 
exchange for the British possessions in Sumatra. The 
Bengal Obituary ^ among burials at Chinsura records that 
of ' Mevrouw C. G. Kloppenburg Weduioee {sic) van Wylen 
den Heere Gregorius Herklots, in leeven opperhoof te 
Kassimbazaar, obit {sic) 9th October 1820, oud 73 Jaaren ', 

Another notice in the Bengal Obituary^ mentions the 
death of Mrs. C. C. Herklots on 9 June 1846, aged 72 
years, 3 months. In the same tomb had previously been 
interred five of her children and four grandchildren 
belonging to the families of Betts, Lacroix, and Herklots. 
She is described on her monument as the wife of Gregory 
Herklots Esq., Fiscal of Chinsura. ' She was born and 
educated in this country and rose above all the real or 
imaginary disadvantages of a whole life spent in India. 
By the grace of God, her naturally buoyant and lively 
temper was constrained for the service of Christ, which 
rendered her at once a cheerful and instructive companion. 
She was the mother of sixteen living children, the whole of 
whom were in a great measure reared under her roof; 
these, together with the parties connected with her family 
by alliance and their descendants, amounted to not less 
than 105 souls.' The inscription ends by recording her 
merits as a true Christian, devoted to good works, even 
when at the close of her life she became nearly blind. 

These two ladies and their husbands, both named 
Gregorius or Gregory Herklots, seem to have been re- 
spectively the grand-parents and parents of the translator, 
Gerhard Andreas Herklots. 

The only information procurable about G. A. Herklots 

1 p. 336. C. R. Wilson (Tombs in Betujal, 1896) records this inscription 
in the Dutch cemetery at Chinsura, but reads ' Weduwe ', and gives 72 as 
her age. 

' p. 353. 


is furnished by M. Garcin de Tassy.^ It appears from an 
affidavit made by him at the time of his appointment as 
Surgeon on the Madras estabhshment, that he was born at 
Chinsura on 28 February 1790, the son of Gregory Herklots 
of Bremen, capital of the Free State of that name, and 
of CaroHne Catherine, his wife, who was born at Middel- 
burg, the ancient capital of the province of Zeeland in 
Holland. His father went to India about 1788 and held 
an appointment under the Dutch Government until 
Chinsura was surrendered in 1825 to the British, when, as 
his son beHeved, he was appointed assistant to Mr. Gordon 
Forbes, the East India Company's Commissioner. He 
was sent to England to study medicine, and on 31 March 
1818 Mr. WilHam Dick certified that he was quahfied in 
physic to hold the post of Assistant Surgeon in the service 
of the East India Company. He was appointed on the 
following day and posted to the Madras estabhshment, his 
commission as Assistant Surgeon being dated 18 July 1818. 
He arrived at Madras on 7 June 1819, and in January 1822 
he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the 19th Madras 
Native Infantry, and later to the 10th Native Infantry, in 
which he served in the first Burmese war which ended by 
the treaty of Yandaboo in February 1826. On his 
return from active service he probably induced Ja'far 
Sharif to compile this work, the English translation of 
which was in progress about the time when he went on 
furlough to England, the preface being dated London, 
1 September 1832. The whole or part of the funds spent 
on publishing the book were supplied by the East India 
Company. He returned to India and died at Walajabad 
on 8 July 1834. This place, situated in the Chingleput 
District, Madras, became a mihtary cantonment about 
1786, and was occupied by European and Native Regi- 
ments. But it was found to be very unhealthy, and the 
' Hisloire de. la Liiteralure Hindoue, Paris, 1870, vol. ii. p. 61. 


mortality among the troops was so great that it was called 
' the grave of Europeans '. The cantonment was aban- 
doned and the last occupants, a veteran battalion, were 
removed in 1860. The tomb of Dr. Herklots at Walajabad 
is mentioned in Mr. J. J. Cotton's List of Inscriptions on 
Tombs or Monuments in Madras. There is no record of his 
marriage in the lists preserved at the India Office. 

It is a remarkable coincidence that the Qdnun-i-Isldm 
was pubhshed three years before E. W. Lane's classical 
account of The Manners and Customs of the Modern 
Egyptians. It is possible that a copy of Herklots' book 
may have reached Lane in Cairo, but there is little re- 
semblance between the two monographs, and I have not 
traced any reference by Lane to the book ; he certainly 
does not mention it in his preface to the first edition dated 
from Cairo in 1835. 

It appears that the original work of Ja'far Sharif was 
chiefly confined to the account of Musalman beliefs and 
practices which form the greater part of the book. To this 
Dr. Herklots attached a long appendix containing articles 
on relationships, weights and measures, dress, jewellery, 
cooking, games, children's plays, and fireworks, to which 
was added a glossary containing particulars of many 
matters referred to in the body of the book and of others 
here discussed for the first time. This inconvenient 
arrangement obviously lessened the value of the book, 
since much of the information was scattered in various 
places, and even with the aid of an index was not easily 

The work is not a classic in the sense that Tod's Annals 
of Rajasthan and Sleeman's Rambles and Recollections, 
both republished in this series, are classics, the works of 
learned, accomplished men writing in their own language, 
which deserved to be reprinted as they came from the hands 
of the authors. This is merely a translation, and rather 


a rude translation, of a lost original in Hindostani. It was, 
therefore, believed that if the work in its new form was to 
be made more useful to students of the Musalmans of 
India, it was necessary to rearrange and partially rewrite 
it ; to separate those chapters relating to domestic life 
from those describing religious beliefs and usages ; and to 
transfer into the body of the book from the appendix and 
glossary anything which appeared to be of permanent 
value. Some of this scattered material has been brought 
together into separate chapters, such as those dealing with 
food, intoxicants and stimulants, and the like. Many of the 
articles in the original appendix consist merely of lists of 
names, in Urdu or some south Indian language, of articles 
of food, clothing, jewels, musical instruments, and so on. 
In many cases the explanations and descriptions of these 
things were so inadequate that it would serve no useful 
purjDose to reprint them. Many of these words in the course 
of time have been transferred from this book into later 
dictionaries, such as the Dictionary of Urdu, Classical 
Hindi, and Etiglish, pubhshed by Mr. J. T. Platts in 1884, 
where they find their fitting place. Even if it were within 
my powers to extend these vocabularies so as to make 
them representative of Musalman India as a whole, it would 
have added largely to the size of the book without render- 
ing it more practically useful. I have, however, retained 
in the body of the book a large number of technical terms 
which can easily be traced through the Index. In this 
rearrangement and condensation I trust that I have 
omitted nothing of real importance, and that I have as far 
as possible retained the original oriental atmosphere of the 
book. The space thus gained has been utilized for the 
inclusion of much new information which is, I believe, of 
much more value than anything which I have been forced 
to discard. 

Another matter deserving attention is the scope of the 


work. As originally compiled by a Musalman of southern 
India, it was devoted mainly to the beliefs and customs 
prevailing in that part of the country. But in order to 
include an account of Indian Islam as a whole, Dr. Herklots, 
while preparing the book for the press, embodied some 
information derived from Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali's Observa- 
tions on the Mussulmans of India, which has been repub- 
lished in this series, and from M. Garcin de Tassy's 
Memoires sur les Particularites de la Religion Mussulmane 
dans rinde. He stated that thus extended ' it embraces 
an account of all the peculiarities o£ the Musalmans 
worthy of note in every part of India '. The authorities 
which he quoted are of high value, but it is hardly necessary 
to say that while Ja'far Sharif's book furnishes an admir- 
able account of the Musalmans of southern India, it cannot 
pretend, even with the additions made in a hasty way by 
Dr. Herklots, to embody all or most of the information 
regarding this people throughout the Indian Empire. Thus 
the statement of the editor-translator is likely to cause 
some misapprehension. Since this book was published 
for the first time, an immense amount of information, 
some of which I have included in this edition, has become 
available. The extent of these fresh materials may be 
gathered from the selected bibliography which I have 
added. For example, in the original work there is little 
information regarding the Musalmans of northern, central, 
eastern, and western India, except that collected from 
Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali's account of the Shi'as of Lucknow. 
Nothing is said about the Musalmans of the Panjab and 
that most interesting group of tribes on the north-west 
frontier, in Sind and Baluchistan, where Islam has pro- 
duced little effect upon the indigenous Animistic beliefs 
and practices. No account of Islam as it exists in India 
can be regarded as satisfactory which ignores these and 
other tribes and castes which more or less conform to the 


orthodox faith. The inclusion of facts beyond the scope 
of the original work necessarily gives an appearance of 
scrappiness to the present edition, in which it was impos- 
sible, from consideration of space, to present this new in- 
formation in any but a condensed form. I hope, however, 
that the additions which I have made, combined with a 
careful citation of the original authorities, will make the 
book more useful to students of Islam. I have also^ 
particularly in the case of southern India, given references 
to the Hindu sources from which certain dogmas and 
ritual have been derived ; or rather it would be preferable 
to say that these beliefs and usages are part of the original 
heritage of these people who have assimilated Islam only 
in an imperfect way. 

I have not, as a rule, aimed at considering the principles 
which underlie much of this local Musalman ritual, but 
I have occasionally given references to standard anthropo- 
logical works in which these subjects are discussed. As 
regards quotations from the Koran, I have substituted the 
version of Rod well for that of Sale. The transliteration has 
been corrected throughout according to the system 
generally current in India and that used in well-known 
works of authority like the Dictionary of Mr. Platts and the 
valuable Dictionary of Islam by Mr. Hughes. 

The facts thus collected, I believe in a large measure for 
the first time, may help to remove a current misconception. 
While the beliefs and customs of the Hindu tribes and 
castes have been carefully examined, much less attention 
has been devoted to those of the Indian Musalmans, 
because it has been supposed that the recognition by them 
of an authoritative body of Scriptures, the Koran with 
the later Traditions of the teaching of the Prophet, has 
imposed a well-defined, uniform system of belief and ritual 
which permits little or no variation. On the contrary, 
Islam in India has no pretensions to be regarded as a well- 


organized system of dogma and practice, and throughout 
the Empire the variations are often starthng. This is due 
to the clash or contact of the new faith with the old. From 
this point of view it presents many features of interest to 
the student of comparative religion, and it deserves more 
attention than it has hitherto received. In the chapter on 
Ethnography I have given a brief survey which is essential 
for the study of the account of religion and sociology 
which follows. 



Author's Preface ....... Page vii 

Preface by the Translator, Dr. Hbrklots . • „ xi 

Introduction to the Present Edition . . • ,, xix 

List op Illustrations . . . . . • ,, xxxv 

Bibliography . . . . . . . . „ xxxvii 



The distribution of Musalmans in India ; progress of Islam ; its increase 
as compared with that of Hinduism ; the Musalman conquest ; fusion 
of Islam with Hinduism ; worship of Saints ; four groups of Musalmans ; 
Navayat ; Labbai ; Moplah ; Bohra ; Khoja ; Molesalam ; Momna ; 
Sunni and Shi'a ; Sunni Law Schools ; general characteristics of 
Islam .......... Page 1 



Devices to avoid barrenness ; infanticide ; taboos during pregnancy ; 
prediction of sex of expected child ; seventh month rite ; ninth month 
rite ; delivery ; treatment of the mother ; head-moulding of the child ; 
nurses ; naming rites ; names selected by divination ; influence of the 
planets; opprobrious names ...... Page 17 



Patti ; ChhathI ; period of impurity ; the 'Aqiqa rite ; the shaving of 
the child; the swinging rite ; the seventh month rite ; the teething rite ; 
the crawling rite ; ear-boring of girls ..... Page 35 



The Bismillah rite; the waving rite; invitations to rites; birth- 
days Page 43 




Age at which the rite is performed ; the operation ; female circum- 
cision .......... Page 48 



The second teething ; teaching of the Koran ; respect paid to the tutor ; 
presents given to him at the 'Id festivals .... Page 51 



The first menstruation ; the seclusion of the girl ; the puberty of the boy ; 
purification ......... Page 53 



Marriage among Musalmans ; proliibited degrees ; dower and settle- 
ment ; marriage negotiations ; age for marriage ; signs of the zodiac 
and planets inlluencing marriage ; divination ; omens ; preliminary 
rites ; betrothal ; distribution of betel ; the asking ; threshold treading ; 
gifts to the bride ; relations of the pair before marriage ; marriage cele- 
brations ; anointing ; miniature boats set afloat ; taboos imposed on the 
bridegroom ; adornment of the bride ; measuring for the wedding dress ; 
erection of the marriage shed ; use of pots in marriage ; the fiour mill 
rite ; gifts for the bride ; the dowry ; the bridegroom's procession; the 
rice of chastity ; the oil pot rite ; anointing the bride ; the wedding 
service ; the arrival of the bridegroom ; the rice throwing ; the Nikah 
the marriage settlement ; functions of the Qazi ; the wedding prayer 
the marriage feast ; conditions of marriage ; the displaying of the bride 
the game of divination ; the going away of the bride ; consummation of 
the marriage ; the proofs of virginity ; the untying of the wedding 
bracelet ; the hair-braiding of the bride ; resuming the use of the hands ; 
the honeymoon entertainments ; visits of the bride to her parents ; taboos 
imposed on the bride ; the legal number of wives ; divorce ; re-marriage 
of the divorced woman ; period occupied by the rites . . Page 56 




The treatment of the dying ; the Recording Angela ; the arranging of the 
corpse ; the shrouding ; the coffin and bier ; the funeral ; the burial ; 
prayers or messages buried with the corpse ; the grave and the tomb ; 
pouring water on the grave ; the visit of the Angels Munkar and Nakir ; 
the ordeal of the spirit of the dead ; the form of the sepulchre ; lamenta- 
tion for the dead ; food for the dead ; the recitation of the Koran ; 
eating at the house of the dead prohibited ; the funeral feast ; rules of 
mourning ; prayers for the dead ; the final visitation of the grave ; 
period occupied in the funeral rites . . . . . Page 89 



The five primary duties ; the Creed ; prayer and its ritual ; the times 
of prayer ; the merits of fasting ; the legal alms ; the duty of pilgrimage ; 
the rites at Mecca ; taboos imposed on pilgrims ; the Sacred Mosque and 
the Black Stone ; Hagar and the well Zamzam ; the rites at Mina ; the 
flinging of the pebbles ; Abraham and the offering of Ishmael ; the sacri- 
fice at Mina ; the shaving ; the final visit to the Ka'ba ; the worship of 
the Prophet's tomb ; Shi'as and the pilgrimage ; the martyrs Page 109 



The ablutions ; purification by means of sand or dust ; the call to prayer ; 
the five times of jDraj^er ; the ritual ; rules for the sick and travel- 
lers .......... Page 125 



The offering to God ; those in the names of Saints ; consecration of hair ; 
offerings to Khwaja Khizr ; the Bahlim vow ; vow to Imam Zamin ; 
to the Seven Sleepers ; Shl'a vows ; vows to Fatima ; vows of begging ; 
night meetings of women ; vows to Sikandar Zu-1-qamain ; various 
Indian Saints . ........ Page 134 



The Dargah ; the 'Idgah ; the Imambara ; the mosque ; exhibition of 
relics ; women in mosques ; mosques built from the materials of Jain 
or Hindu temples ; the mosque officials ; the rosary, the prayer- 
carpet  . Page"l44 




Events which occurred at this time ; the seven Heavens and Hells ; 
the Martyrs, Hasan and Husain ; the ten days of mourning ; the 
'Ashurkhana ; the fire-walking rite ; the Imambara ; the standards ; 
the elegies ; the procession of the spear ; of the horseshoe ; the ceno- 
taphs ; the royal seat ; the palace of justice ; Buraq ; Hindus sharing 
in the rites ; riots ; taboos during the festival ; distribution of food and 
water; the Muharram Faqlrs ; vows made at the festival ; the fire -walk ; 
the dipping of the standards ...... Page 151 


The object of the festivals and their ritual .... Page 186 



The anniversarj'^ of the death of the Prophet ; the soul, according to 
Musalman belief ; the footprints of the Prophet ; the Buraq ; food for 
the Prophet ; the hair of the Prophet ; the Nauroz or New Year festival ; 
weighing of the king ....... Page 188 



The virtues of the Saint ; his Sandal festival ; exorcism of epidemic 
disease; vows made to the Saint ; the Rafa'i Order of'Faqirs Page 192 



Visits to his tomb ; women excluded ; the fire-walk ; the cow sacri- 
fice .......... Page 195 



The assemblage of Faqlrs ; discipline in the Order ; the Saint a patron 
of sailors ; his miracles ....... Page 197 



The Saints Rajab Salar, Sayyid Jalalu-d-diri ; the Ascent of the Prophet 
into Heaven ; Guga ." Page 201 


The Night of Record ; the vigil; proceedings at the festival . Page 203 



Origin of the festival ; the rules of fasting ; the special prayers ; 
the Musalman Sabbath ; the Night of Power ; the Ghair-i-mahdi 
sect Page 205 


Historj' of the Saint ; celebration of the anniversary of his death Page 210 



The breaking of the fast; the Khutba or bidding prayer; the re- 
joicings ......-•• Page 211 


The animal sacrifice ; the 'Id-i-ghadir .... Page 214 



Varieties of magic; the training of the magician; the recital of the 
Names ; the Abjad formula ; the influence of the planets ; of the signs 
of the zodiac ; the accompaniments of the Names ; Names and their 
demons ; the summoning of the Jinn ; the Glorious Attributes ; the 

CONTENTS xxxiii 

recital of the invocation ; the appearance of the demons and the Jinn ; 
the mighty oath ; the effects of the invocation ; characteristics of the 
Jinn ; Satan ; the kings of the Jinn ; demon possession ; use of the 
magic circle ; the charmed wick ; possession by a demon ; the action 
of the exorcist ; the use of doUs by the Syana; the diagnosis of diseases ; 
the making of the charmed wick ; stone-throwing by demons ; tricks 
played by pseudo-exorcists ; smoke charms ; love charms ; charms to 
influence the decisions of Courts ; charms to procure revenge on enemies ; 
charms by means of figures ...... Page 218 



Magic Squares ; their uses ; amulets and amulet cases ; the Ninety- 
nine Names of God ; miscellaneous charms ; the horoscope ; astrology ; 
propitiatory offerings ; the influence of the days of the week Page 247 



The discovery of stolen goods ; the magic mirror ; the coUyrium ; 
children born by the foot presentation ; magic wicks ; magic squares ; 
the Fairy Bath ; the Fairy Tray ; the Fruit Tray ; the Fairy Woman's 
Bath ; the Fairy assemblages ...... Page 264 



Recovering stolen goods ; the magic bowl ; the turning of the 
Koran Page 274 



The Rijalu-1-ghaib ; divination before travelling ; lucky and un- 
lucky days ......... Page 278 



Origin of the name Sufi ; initiation of disciples ; prayers recited by 
Faqirs ; the Faqir organization ; Orders of Faqirs ; Qadiriya ; Chishti ; 
Shattariya; Madariya; Malang; Rafa'I; Jalaliya; Musa Sohagiya ; 
Naqshbandi ; Bawa Piyare's Faqirs ; implements carried by Faqirs ; 
two classes of Faqirs ; the Qalandar; Rasulshahi; Nikalseni; Spiiitual 
guides ; appointment of the deputy ; the Wall . . . Page 283 





Materials and fashions of dress ; wearing of new clothes ; the colours of 
clothes ; the wearing of the hair ; the beard ; dyeing the beard and hair ; 
depilatories ; days for bathing ; care of the teeth ; painting the eyes ; 
antimony ; lampblack ; henna ; safflower ; perfumed powders ; sandal- 
wood ; aloes wood ; Argaja ; otto of roses ; Abir; Ispand; incense; 
evil spirits scared by foul smells ; flowers .... Page 301 



Materials of jewellery ; use of jewels as amulets ; the legend of the 
ear-ring ; nose-rings ; amulets ; ear-boring ; the ' fig-leaf > worn 
by children ......... Page 313 



Lawful and unlawful foods ; use of wine and spirits ; eating with people 
of other religions ; ritual slaughter ; meals ; use of vessels ; customs of 
eating ; staple foods ; Pulao ; Khichari ; rice ; bread ; roasts ; curries ; 
curry powder ; sweetmeats ; sherbet ; pickles ; preparations of 
milk .......... Page 315 



Opium ; hemp ; tobacco ; the pipe ; snuff ; pipe-hghters ; 
betel Page 325 



Chess ; backgammon ; Pachisi ; Chanarpisi ; Chausar ; Chaupar ; dice ; 
cards ; miscellaneous games ; kite-flying ; pigeon-flying ; polo ; athletics ; 
cock, quail and partridge fighting ; children's games . . Page 331 

EPILOGUE Page 339 

INDEX Page 341 



An Indian Woman dressed out in her jewels 

Facing page 
. 67 

The Shrine of Sayyid Salar, Bahraich 

The Tomb of Itimadu-d-daula, Agra ..... 

Ibrahim Rauza, BIjapur ........ 

Mohur-punkhee, or Bayra, Kishti, or Juhaz (a decorated boat, 

Morpankhl, Bern, JaJidz) ....... 

Dargah of Amir Barid Shah, Bidar . . . . . . 

Tukht-e-rowan (Takht-i-rawdn) ; Eedgah, or Numaz-gah (''Idgah 

or Nanmzgdh) ; Moor-chh'hul (a fly-flapper, morchhal ; Chamar, 

Chaunrl) .... 

Fathpm-i Mosque at Taj entrance, Agra 
The MotI Masjid, Agra . 
A Taboot (Tdbut) or Tazeea (Ta'ziya) ; Shah Nusheen (SMhnashln) 

or Dad-mahal (Dddmahall) ; Churkhee-fanoos or Fanoos-e 

kheal (Charkhi fdnus or Fdnus-i-kliaydl) ; Booraq (Bvrdq) 
Standards ....... 

A Magic Circle ; A Magic Square ; another kind 
A Magic Figure .... 

Other Species ; Eea Hafiz ( Yd Hdfiz) 
Different Varieties .... 

A Magic Figure .... 

A Puleeta {Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
A Puleeta (Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
A Puleeta (Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
A Puleeta (Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
Smoke Charms .... 

A Puleeta (Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
A Puleeta (Palita) or Lamp Charm . 
Musical Instruments : 

I. Nutwe ka Ta'ifa (Natwe kd TdSja, the band accompanying 
a party of acrobats) ; Seetar (sitdr, a guitar) ; Moor-chung 
(murchang, a Jew's harp) ; Duff (daf, a tambourine) ; Thee- 
kree (thikri, cymbals). 

II. Kunchnee ka Taefa (kanchani kd td^ifa, the band accom- 
panying a dancing and singing girl) ; Poongee (piingi, a flute) ; 
Meerdung (mridang, a double drum) ; Munjeera (manjira, 
cymbals) ; Ghuggree (ghagri, a hollow tinkling ring) ; Ghoon- 
groo (ghungru, a bell anklet) ; Sarung (sdrang, a kind of guitar 
or fiddle). 







Facing page 
III. Dhol, a drum ; Soor (sur, a trumpet) ; Shuhnaee {shahndi, 
a flageolet) ; Banka (hanlca, a bent trumpet) ; Quma (qarna, 
a twisted trumpet) ........ 292 

Musical Instruments. Tooree, Toortporee (tun, turturi, a clarion) ; 
Banka (banka, a bent trumpet) ; Sunkh (sankh, a shell 
trumpet) ; Nuqara (naqqdra, a kettledrum) ; Tukkoray, Zayr- 
bum (takori, zerham, a kettledrum) ; Dunka {danka, a small 
kettledrum) ; Dhubboos (ddbus, a mace) ; Khunjuree (kkan- 
jrirt, a small tambourine) ; Duff, Duffra (daf, dafra, a tam- 
bourine) ; Daeera (da''ira, a tambourine) ; Dhol, a drum ; 
Meerdung (mridang, a double drum) ; Puk'hawuj (pakMivaj, 
a drum) ; Tubla (tahla, a pair of kettledrums) ; Tasa (tdsd, 
a hemispherical drum) ; Been, Vina (bin, mm, a lute) ; Keen- 
gree (kingri, a kind of lute) ; Doru (doru, a double drum) ; 
Ghoongroo [glnmgru, tinkling-bell anklets) ; Munjeera [man- 
jira, cymbals) ......... 294 

Miscellaneous : 

a. Varieties of Shoes. Appashaee (apdshahi) ; Chanddoree 
(chdndon, made at Chandor in the Nasik District, Bombay 
Presidency) ; Nowkdar {nokddr, with pointed toes) ; Chuppul 
(chappal, a sandal). 
h. Games. Pucheesee (pacMsi) ; Mogul-Putthan (Mughal- 

c. Conveyances. Palkee [pdlM, a palanquin) ; Chowtha (chau- 
thd, a litter) ; Meeana [miydnd, a sedan) ; Doolee (dull, a 
small litter). 

d. The Toilet. Miswak (miswdk, a tooth twig). 

e. Positions in Prayer. Qeeam (qiydm, the standing posture) ; 
Rookoo (ruku\ the bow) ; Do-zano bythna (dozdnu baithnd, 
sitting on the heels) ; Sijdah (sijda, the prostration). 

/. Modes of Salutation. Sulam (saldm) ; Bundugee (handagl) ; 
Koornish (kornish, obeisance) ; Tusleem (taslim) ; Qudum- 
bosee, Zumeen-bosee (qudam-hosi, zamin-bosi, kissing the feet 
or the ground) ; Gullay-milna (gale milna, to embrace) . 300 


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Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases. 2nd ed. London, 1903. 
Zwemer, S. M. Arabia, the Cradle of Islam. Edinburgh, 1900. 



The Musalmans of India, according to the Census of 1911, 
numbered 66 millions, or more than one-fifth of the population 
of the empire. The total number of adherents of Islam being 
estimated at about 220 millions, India contains nearly one- 
third, and Great Britain is thus, from the point of numbers, 
the greatest Muhammadan power in the world. In the north- 
west frontier Province the population, except a small minority, 
is Musalman ; in the Panjab and Bengal the proportion is 
about one half ; one in five in Bombay ; one in seven in the 
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh ; while in the Central 
Provinces, Madras, and Burma their numbers are comparatively 
inconsiderable. Thus the present distribution of Islam has 
followed the course of the Mxihammadan conquests from the 
north and west, and they are strongest in proportion to their 
vicinity to the head-quarters of the Faith in western Asia. 
The most remarkable exception to this general rule is the 
strength and increasing influence of Islam in eastern Bengal. 
In this part of the country Musalmans ' are found chiefly in the 
eastern and northern districts. In this tract there was a 
vigorous and highly successful propaganda in the days of the 
Pathan kings of Bengal [a. d. 1338-1539]. The inhabitants bad 
never been fully Hinduized, and at the time of the first 
Muhammadan invasions most of them probably preferred a 
debased form of Buddhism. They were spurned by the high 
class Hindus as unclean, and so listened readily to the preaching 
of the Mullas, who proclaimed the doctrine that all men were 
equal in the sight of Allah, backed, as it often was, by a varying 
amount of compulsion '.^ Bengal now contributes 24 millions, 
or 36 per cent., to the total number of Musalmans in India. 
In southern India the process of conquest was begun by 

1 Census Reports, India,, 1911, i. 128; Bengal, 1901, i. 156 f. ; 1911, 
i. 202 ff. 


2 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

Alau-d-din in the beginning of the fourteenth century, but the 
rulers at Delhi were unable to control this vast region situated 
at an immense distance from the seat of their power, and five 
independent Musalman States were created. The first serious 
attempt to re-assert Mughal supremacy was made by Akbar 
(1596-1600). This policy of advance continued under Shah- 
jahan, and it was actively prosecuted by Aurangzeb, with the 
result that the local Muhammadan dynasties were over- 
thrown. But Mughal control did not last long, and it finally 
gave way before the rising power of the Marathas early in the 
eighteenth century. It is important to note that these 
Musalman kingdoms of the south were merely outposts of the 
Faith amidst a dense Hindu population. Being in a numerical 
minority, the Musalmans were here compelled to adopt, as a rule, 
a policy of toleration and conciliation towards their Hindu sub- 
jects. At the present day the Nizam of Hyderabad, the only 
important Musalman state in southern India, rules a population 
of which 86 per cent, are Hindu and 10 per cent. Musalman. In 
the Madras Presidency the proportion of Musalmans falls to 
6 per cent. The customs recorded in this book, in its original 
form, show how much of the original Animism, demonolatry, 
and magic still survives among the Musalmans of southern 

The increase of Islam, as compared with Hinduism, has 
been slow but continuous during the period for which trust- 
worthy statistics are available .^ In the early days of Muham- 
madan rule, compulsion and the pressure of special taxation, 
particularly the Jizya or poll tax on non-believers during the 
reign of Aurangzeb, were used to enforce conversion. In the 
more recent period, direct propaganda seems to have been 
infrequent. The increase of Islam largely depends upon other 
causes. In part, it may be attributed to the higher vitality 
of the Musalman as compared with that of the Hindu, the 
result of his connexion with the more virile races of central 
Asia and of his more nutritious diet, which generally includes 

1 The proportion which Musalmans bore to the total population was 
213 per million in 1911, as compared with 197 in 1881, the increase in 
the period 1901-11 being 6"7 per cent., as compared with 5 per cent, in 
the case of Hindus {Census Report, India, 1911, i. 128 f.). 


meat in some form. But the chief reason seems to be that his 
social customs are more favourable to a higher birth-rate than 
those of the Hindu. He is generally a town-dweller, and he is 
thus less exposed to the danger of famine than the Hindu 
peasant. He is subject to fewer restrictions on marriage. 
Early or infant marriage is less common, and widows are freely 
allowed to marry. There is thus a larger proportion of wives 
of the child-bearing age among Musalmans than among 

Musalmans are not found in excessive numbers in the vicinity 
of the great Imperial cities like Delhi or Agra, because in these 
parts of the country the invaders encountered powerful Hindu 
tribes, like the Jats and Rajputs, intensely conservative and 
controlled by a strong Brahman hierarchy, which resisted 
proselytism. In Bengal, however, they are more numerous in 
north Bihar, the seat of Hindu and Brahman domination, 
than round the old Muhammadan centres in south Bihar, 
Patna, and Monghyr. In Oudh we find many Musalman 
communities which owe their origin to grants of waste or con- 
fiscated lands conferred by their Musalman rulers on some 
successful soldier, or on some Plr or holy man who attracted 
a body of disciples. In southern India a large proportion of 
the Musalmans are converts drawn from the animistic castes or 
tribes in ancient or modern times. 

Although there has been little organized propaganda for the 
spread of the Faith, within recent years the fervour of Musal- 
man life has been stimulated by preachers, by the publication 
and distribution of religious books, and by the establishment 
of schools and colleges. It is only perhaps in the case of the 
Wahhabis, the Puritans of Islam, that an active propaganda 
has been organized, but the militant section among them seems 
to have considerably lost its force. The Wahhabis in Bengal 
now reject this title, ' and assume one or another of two names, 
Alil-i-hadls, or ' the people of the Traditions ', so called 
because they claim a right to interpret for themselves the 
Hadis, the traditional sayings of Muhammad not found in 
the Koran, or Ghair-muqallid, meaning ' nonconformists ' or 
' dissenters ', as they do not follow the doctrines of any of the 
four Imams of the Sunni sect. The designation Rafi'yadain 


4 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

is also sometimes applied to them, because they raise both 
hands in prayers before genuflection and prostration and 
fold them at the breast and not at the navel like Sunnis ; 
the name means, literally, ' raising both hands at the time of 
prayer '. The Ahl-i-hadis ' are so strongly in opposition to 
orthodox Musalmans as to regard them as little more than 
infidels and their mosques as little better than Hindu temples. 
They regard it as their duty to take possession of the latter if 
possible, and have at times had recourse to the civil courts to 
assert a right to worship in them. In their prayers they pro- 
nounce the word Amen in a loud voice ; the use of music and 
the beating of drums at marriage festivities — according to 
some their use renders the marriage illegal — the offering of 
sweetmeats &c. to the spirits of deceased ancestors, and visits 
to the tombs of Saints are all forbidden. Even a pilgrimage 
to the grave of the Prophet at Medina is looked on with dis- 
favour, and some have been known to return from their 
Haj pilgrimage after visiting Mecca only '.^ Conversions 
certainly occur in the Musalman community, but they are 
largely due to social causes. The outcast groups of Hindus, 
popularly known as the ' Untouchables ', have begun to 
realize that as objects of contempt to all who follow the strict 
rule of Brahmanism, their position is intolerable. To such 
people Islam offers full franchise after conversion, and the 
number of converts is increased by those who, on account of the 
breach of Hindu social observances, such as the eating of for- 
bidden food, association with people considered to be impure, 
violation of some rule of marriage or sexual connexion, have 
been expelled from the community, or to use the popular 
phrase, have been deprived of the right of smoking tobacco or 
drinking water with their co-religionists. For these persons 
the choice lies between accepting Christianity or Islam. This 
tendency has led to attempts by the more liberal-minded 
Hindus to adopt measures for the ameliorization of these 
wretched classes, but up to the present this movement seems 
to have produced little effect. 

The first contact of militant Islam with India occurred in the 
Khilafat of Walid, when in a.d. 712, Muhammad, son of Qasim, 
» Censiis Report, Bengal, 1911, i. 248. 


son-in-law of Hajaj, governor of Persia, invaded Sind.^ But 
the force of this Arab movement on the western frontier was 
exliausted when it reached the Indus valley, and the first 
effective step towards the conquest of India for the new Faith 
was taken by a dynasty founded by a Turkish slave at Ghazni 
between Kabul and Kandahar. The greatest of these princes, 
Mahmud, between 999 and his death in 1050, made a series 
of raids with the object of plunder and the destruction of the 
temples and idols of the Hindus. It was not the intention of 
Mahmud to occupy the country, and the real task of conquest 
was undertaken by Muhammad Ghorl, ruler of a petty kingdom 
between Ghazni and Herat, who, after some preliminary 
attempts, invaded India in 1191, and though he was at first 
checked by Prithiviraja, the Chauhan Rajput king of Ajmer, 
defeated and slew the Hindu leader in the following year. 
The conquests of Muhammad Ghorl were extended by his 
lieutenant, Qutbu-d-din, and by 1206 the Muhammadans had 
mastered northern India from Peshawar to the Bay of Ben- 
gal. From that time until 1526 thirty-four kings reigned at 
Delhi, Slave kings, Khaljis, Tughlaqshahis, Sayyids, and Lodis. 
But their hold over northern India was precarious, and the 
country was repeatedly raided by bands of fierce Mongols from 
central Asia. The Tughlaqshahis fell before Taimur the Lame, 
who occupied and sacked Dellii in 1398. The Sayyids and 
Lodls succeeded to a kingdom ruined by the foreign invaders 
and convulsed by the struggles of rival claimants. The time 
was ripe for the coming of a stronger ruler, when in 1526 
Babur, king of Kabul, defeated Ibrahim LodI on the historical 
field of Panlpat in the Karnal District of the eastern Panjab, 
and founded the Mughal Empire. 

His son, HumayQn, a gallant soldier, but addicted to opium- 
eating and possessed of less energy and enterprise than his 
father, was obliged to take refuge in Persia while his Indian 
dominions were occupied by Sher Shah, an Afghan officer 
in Bihar, who led the HindostanI Musalmans against the 
Mughals. After his death Humayun recovered his kingdom 
in 1555, and on his death, the result of an accident, his eldest 
son Akbar (1556-1605) succeeded to the throne. 

» V. A. Smith, Oxford History of India, 190 ff. ; IGI, ii. 350 ff. 

6 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

It is unnecessary here to describe in any detail the founda- 
tion, extension, and ultimate decay of the Mughal Empire. 
Four Emperors, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb, 
reigned between 1556 and 1707. The policy of Akbar, known 
as the Great Mogul, was devoted to conquest, consolidation, 
fiscal and social reorganization. He practically discarded 
orthodox Islam, and aimed at establishing a new, eclectic 
religion, known as the Divine Faith, while his sympathies led 
him to conciliate his Hindu subjects and to repress Musalman 
bigotry .1 During the rule of his successors, Jahangir and 
Shahjahan, the empire retained its magnificence, the Court 
ceremonies were conducted with splendour, splendid buildings 
were erected, but the administration was less efficient, and 
though persecution of the Hindus occurred, the rapprochement 
with the faith of the masses of the subject races was encouraged 
by royal marriages with Rajput princesses. Thus the loss 
of constant streams of fresh recruits from Kabul and central 
Asia was compensated by the devotion to the Mughal throne 
of the Rajputs, the most virile of the Hindu tribes. Under 
Aurangzeb, a fanatical Sunni Musalman, the policy of tolera- 
tion was abandoned, and the destruction of Hindu temples and 
idols and the imposition of the Jizya or poll-tax on unbelievers 
alienated the Rajputs and led to the rise of the Maratha 
power in the Deccan. Between the death of Aurangzeb in 
1707 and the establishment of British supremacy in Bengal 
after the battle of Plassey in 1757, the empire gradually fell 
into decay. 

This rapid historical summary of events will help to explain 
the present position of Islam in India. Its influence largely 
depends on the fact that its adherents retain the tradition that 
their ancestors were once the rulers of the land, and their 
capacity for administration increases their efficiency as officers 
of the British Government. As now constituted, the Musal- 
mans represent groups drawn from the indigenous races more 
or less leavened by a strain of foreign blood derived from 
successive bodies of invaders or emigrants from the regions 
beyond the north-western frontier. Even in the case of the 

» V. A. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, chap. viii. For the Rajputs 
see J. Tod, Annals oj Rajasthan, ed. 1920 ; Index, s.v. ' Rajput '. 


earlier invaders their racial purity was gradually lost by 
intermarriage or concubinage with Hindus, and though 
a few families claim to have resisted this intermixture of 
blood, the majority of the Musalman population, particularly 
in Bengal and southern India, are by race practically Hindus 
pure and simple. 

The result of this continuous amalgamation of the foreign 
with the indigenous elements in the Musalman population is 
shown in the south Indian customs recorded in this book, 
which differ in many important respects from the orthodox 
system prevailing among the Musalmans of Persia, Arabia, or 
Egypt. Local magical practices have been largely engrafted 
on the system prescribed in the Koran, the Shar, or Way 
of Life, laid down by the Prophet and the legists who suc- 
ceeded him, and the Sunnat or Rule inherited from the Hadls 
or Traditions. Thus, in northern India tribes like the Rajputs 
and Jats, or other castes which have accepted Islam, have 
both a Hindu and a Musalman branch, and members of the 
latter often supplement the orthodox ritual of Islam by Hindu 
marriage or death rites, follow Hindu rules of succession to 
real and personal property, and, particularly in time of trouble, 
reverence the local village deities. Even on the north-west 
frontier and in Baluchistan, where Hindu influence is practically 
absent, Islam has in a large measure failed to supersede the 
primitive animism. ' Brahuis, Baloch and Afghans are equally 
ignorant of everything connected with their religion beyond the 
most elementary doctrines. In matters of faith the tribesman 
confines himself to the belief that there is a God, a Prophet, a 
Resurrection, and a Day of Judgement. He knows that there 
is a Qoran, but in the absence of knowledge of Arabic and of 
qualified teachers who can expound its meaning, he is ignorant 
of its contents. He believes that everything happens by inevit- 
able necessity, but how far this is connected in his mind with 
predestination on the part of the Creator it is difficult to say. 
His practice is, to say the least, un-Islamic. Though he re- 
peats every day that there is one God only who is worthy 
of worship, he almost invariably prefers to worship some Saint 
or tomb. The Saints or Pirs, in fact, are invested with all the 
attributes of God. It is the Saint who can avert calamity, 

8 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

cure disease, procure children for the childless, bless the efforts 
of the hunter, or even improve the circumstances of the dead. 
The underlying feeling seems to be that man is too sinful to 
approach God direct, and therefore the intervention of some 
one more worthy must be sought. Any one visiting a shrine 
will observe stones, carved pieces of wood, bunches of hair tied 
to trees, remnants of clothes, horns of wild animals, bells and 
various articles of trifling value. They are placed at the shrines 
by devotees in performance of vows. The mother who is 
blessed with a child will bring it to the shrine, where she will 
shave it and offer the hair and the baby's clothes in performance 
of vows made during the course of pregnancy. The object is 
that the local Saint may be induced to interest himself or her- 
self — for the Saints are of both sexes — ^in the welfare of the 
little one. The hunter brings the horns of the deer which he 
has killed in the hope of further good sport, while those who 
are suffering from disease pass the stones or pieces of carved 
wood over the part affected, trusting that by this means the 
ill from which they are suffering will be removed '.^ 

In Bengal, before the recent crusade against idolatry, it was 
the practice of low-class Musalmans to join in the Durga Puja 
and other Hindu festivals. They are very careful about omens 
and auspicious days, and dates for weddings and other rites 
are fixed after consulting Hindu Pandits. Hindu deities, like 
Sitala who controls small-pox, and Rakshya Kali who protects 
her votaries from cholera, are worshipped during epidemics. 
In Bihar Musalmans join in the worship of the sun, and some 
of them visit Hindu temples. But the most important devia- 
tion from the standard rules of Islam is the widespread worship 
of Pirs and Saints. ^ Facts of the same kind are reported from 
other parts of the country. In the Central Provinces Musahnan 
Ahirs or cowherds perform their marriages in Hindu fashion, 
and at the end call in a Qazi who repeats the Musalman prayers 
and records the amount of the dowry and settlement.^ Kurmis, 
Hindu peasants in Bihar, keep the Musalman feast of the 
Muiiarram and fast at Ramazan.* The Lambadi carriers in 

* Census Report, Baluchistan, 1901, i. 39. 

" Census Report, India, 1911, i. 176 ff. ^ Russell, ii. 288. 

* Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, i. 534. 


Madras combine the Musalman rite of marriage with the 
original tribal ritual.^ The shrine of Qadirwall Sahib in the 
Tan j ore District, Madras, is visited by crowds of Hindu women, 
and the Hindu princesses send large gifts to the Nagor mosque 
from the Palace. ^ Particularly in the north, the Saint Salar 
Mas'ud, otherwise known as Ghazi Miyan, is worshipped by 
crowds, the majority of whom are Hindus, and in many places 
Hindus share in the procession of the Ta'ziyas or Tabuts, the 
cenotaphs of the martyrs Hasan and Husain, at the Muharram 
festival. Much of this fusion of beliefs and rites is, of course, 
due to the eclectic character of Hinduism, which readily 
accepts the worship of any Saint or even of a martyr because 
he was slain in battle with the Hindus, whose advocacy with 
the Higher Powers is supposed to be effectual. But it also 
points to the close association of Hinduism and Islam among 
the lower-class votaries of both religions, a union based upon 
the ethnical identity of the two bodies. 

Islam, in its orthodox type, does not permit the differentia- 
tion of its followers into castes. In theory, at least, all Musal- 
mans are brethren and can eat^ogether, and though endogamy 
is the rule among certain tribes and castes, particularly in the 
case of those families which claim Arabic or Persian lineage, 
there is nothing to prevent intermarriage with strangers. 
But among the class of Musalman converts from Hinduism the 
laws of endogamy and exogamy still have force, and the rules 
which prohibit eating or drinking with strangers to the group 
are observed.^ 

Musalmans in India are popularly divided into four groups : 
Sayyid, Shaikh, Mughal, Pathan. 

The Sayyids, a term meaning ' lord ', also known as Pirzada, 
' descendants of a Saint ', or Mashaikh, ' venerable ', claim 
descent from Fatima, daughter of the Prophet, and as religious 
teachers, soldiers, and adventurers, flocked into India with the 
Muhammadan armies. They tell a tale that the Angel Jabrail 
or Gabriel, when he came down from heaven with the divine 

1 Thurston, Castes and Tribes, iv. 231 f. ^ g^]]^ £63. 

^ Particularly in Bengal, the distinction between those who claim 
Arab or other foreign descent, known as ' noble ' (ashmf), and local 
converts, or artisans, the ' common folk ' {ajlaj), is carefully recognized. 

10 ISLAM IN INDIA chap.i 

revelation, held a sheet over the Panjtan-i-pak, the Five 
Holy Ones, Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain, 
and exclaimed, ' O Muhammad ! The Almighty showers his 
blessings upon thee, and ordains that thou and the offspring 
of the four who sit with thee shall henceforth be Say y ids '. 
It is difficult to say how many of the present Sayyids belong 
to the true foreign stock, but probably their number is small. 
The saying runs, ' Last year I was a Julaha or weaver, this 
year I am a Shaikh, next year, if prices rise, I shall be a 
Sayyid '. As cultivators the Sayyids are idle and thriftless, 
qualities which they ascribe to Tawakkul, or resignation to the 
Divine will, a development of the Siifl belief which some 
authorities suppose to be derived from Christianity. Many 
of them occupy a quasi-religious position as Pirs or spiritual 
guides in wealthy families, and support themselves on alms 
and gifts. The men take the title of Sayyid or Mir, that is 
Amir, 'leader', before their names, or Shah, 'prince' after 
them, while the women add the title Begam, ' lady '. At the 
census of 1911 the Sayyids numbered about li millions, 
generally distributed except in Burma .^ 

Shaikh, ' venerable leader ', is a term which should properly 
include only those of pure Arab descent, and the name is 
specially applied to three branches of the Quraish tribe from 
which the Prophet sprang : the Siddlqi, claiming descent 
from Abu Bakr, the first Ivlialifa, known as Siddiq, ' the 
veracious ' ; Faruqi, from 'Umar-al-fariiq, ' the discriminator 
between truth and falsehood ', the second IQialifa ; 'Abbasi, 
from 'Abbas, paternal uncle of Muhammad. But the term 
Shaikh has now become little more than a title of courtesy, 
and it is generally assumed by Hindu converts to Islam. At 
the census of 1911 Shaikhs numbered 32 millions, thus in- 
cluding the majority of Musalmans. 

The term Mughal is a form of the name Mongol, the race 
which invaded India after the campaigns of Chengiz Khan, 
and it is now generally applied to the followers of Babur or 
those who were attracted to India by his successors. They 
are generally divided into two groups, Persian and Chagatai, 
the Turkish tribe to which Babur belonged. Bernier ^ explains 

» Rose, ill. 390 S. ; BO. ix, part 2, 7 f. » p. 209. 


that in the time of Aurangzeb the name was applied to ' -white 
men, foreigners and Mahometans '. Many of the Pan jab 
Mughals are probably of Central Asian descent, with inter- 
mixture from other sources, but, like Shaikh, the name has been 
assumed by certain agricultural tribes and recent converts. 
In Gujarat most of them belong to the Shi'a sect, and the 
Persian Mughals form a distinct community, having their 
own places of worship and marrying only amongst themselves. ^ 
They have adopted Hindu usages less than other Gujarat 
Musalmans. Mughals prefix to their names the title Mirza, 
Amirzada, ' leader-born ', and the women use the title Khanam 
' lady '. They numbered at the census of 1911 350,000, and 
they are found throughout the peninsula. 

The name Pathan, a corrupted form of Pashtana or Pakh- 
tana, speakers of Pashto, a language current beyond the 
north-west frontier and within British territories in the trans- 
Indus Districts as far south as Dera Ismail Khan, is a name 
popularly applied to certain tribes on the north-west border- 
land .^ It is synonymous with Rohilla or Rohela, an inhabitant 
of the Roh or mountain tracts. The term has been erroneously 
applied to the Sultans of Delhi from 1206 to 1450. In reality, 
Bahlol Lodi (1450-89) was the first Pathan or Afghan Sultan, 
and the only other Pathan rulers at Delhi were the Sur family 
of Slier Shah, already mentioned as the opponent of the 
Emperor Humayun.^ The theory that the Afghans, especially 
the Durrani branch, are of Hebrew descent is of purely literary 
origin, and it may be traced in the Makhzan-i- Afghani, com- 
piled by Klianjahan Lodi in the reign of the Emperor Jahangir 
(1605-27).* At the present time gangs of traders, known under 
the name Pathan, continue the custom which has prevailed 
from time immemorial of flocking into the Indian plains with 
their Powindas (pavanda, ' nomads ') or in caravans when 
the passes are open.^ 

Among the less important Musalman groups the following 

' Rose, ill. 130 f. ; BG. ix, part 2, 9 f. 

2 Census Report, India, 1901, i. 293 ff. 

' Smith, Oxford History of India, 253. 

* Encyclopaedia of Islam, i. 151. 

* Census Report, Baluchiatan, 1911, 44, 154 ff. ; Rose, iii. 205 fE. 

12 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

deserve mention . The term Na vayat has been supposed to mean 
' new-comers ', but it is more probably derived from Nalt, a 
branch of tlie Arabian Quraish tribe, who are said to have been 
driven from 'Iraq or Mesopotamia in the eighth century a.d., 
and to have migrated to southern India. Those on the west 
coast have preserved the purity of their blood by avoiding 
intermarriages with Indians, and for a time they refused to 
ally themselves even with the highest local Musalman families.^ 

The term Labbai is said to be a corruption of 'ArabT or 
Arab, and designates a class of traders and growers of the betel 
vine in the Tanjore and Madura Districts, Madras. They are 
converted Hindus or Dravidians with some intermixture of 
Arab blood. They claim a common origin with the Navayat, 
but the latter affirm that the Labbai are descended from 
their domestic slaves.^ 

The name Moplah is properly Mappilla, said to be an honorific 
title meaning ' great children '. On the western coast they are 
a hybrid race, the numbers of which are constantly recruited by 
the conversion of the slave tribes of Malabar. They have both 
a Shl'a and a Sunni branch, and they are notorious for occa- 
sional outbreaks of sullen fanaticism, in the course of which 
they have attacked their Hindu neighbours and have dared 
even to encounter British troops. ^ 

The Bohra traders of Gujarat and other parts of central and 
western India are representatives of the Ismalliya Shl'a sect, 
the members of which believe that Ismail ibn Ja'far, and not 
Musa-as-sadiq, was the true Imam, and they refuse to associate 
with the Deity the qualities of existence or non-existence, 
intelligence or non-intelligence, power or helplessness, because 
they believe God to be the Maker of all things, even of names 
and attributes.* At present the Bohras have both a Sunni 
and a Shi'a branch, the former including most of the city 
traders, the latter the rural agriculturists. The Shl'a branch 
owes its origin to a body of missionaries who were kindly 

1 Thuraton, Castes, v. 272 f. ; BG. x. 133, xv, part 1, 400 S. ; Wilks, 
i. 150 ; Yule-Burnell, Hobson-Jobson, 620. 

2 Thurston, Castes, iv. 198 ff. ; Yule-Burnell, 523 ; Wilks, i. 150. 

^ Thurston, Castes, iv. 455 ff. ; L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer, ii. 459 ff. 
 Edwardes, i. 180 f. ; Hughes, 220. 


received by the kings of Anhilwara in Gujarat in the eleventh 
century, while the SunnI section was established by the in- 
fluence of the local Musalman kings. Their leader, H.H. the 
Agha Khan, who commands much respect among Musalmans. 
especially in western India, and who performed notable 
service for the empire in the great Avar, is the successor of 
Agha Shah Hasan 'Ali, who came from Persia to India in 1845, 
and was recognized as the head of the community .1 

The Khwaja or Khoja caste, the term meaning ' honourable 
converts ', who also acknowledge the leadership of the Agha 
Klian, are said to be descended from the so-called Assassins, 
Hashashin, ' drinkers of hashish or hemp ', founded under the 
title of Fidal or Fidawi, ' devoted ones ', by Hasan ibn as- 
sabbah, who died in 1124 at Alamut, the ' Falcon's Nest ', 
in northern Persia. Their grand-master, under the title of 
' The Old Man of the Mountain ', was the subject of many 
legends in the Middle Ages.^ 

The Molesalam are said to derive their name from Maula- 
i-Islam, ' lords in Islam ', and are Rajputs converted to Islam 
in the reign of the famous Mahmud Begada or Bigarha of 
Ahmadabad (1459-1513). They intermarry with the higher 
class Musalmans, but it is said that the son of a chief may take 
a Rajput bride. They employ Musalman Qazis and Maulavis 
as well as Brahman priests and bards drawn from the Bhat and 
Charan tribes. ^ 

The Momna take their name from Mumin, ' believer ', and 
are orthodox Shi'a Musalmans, originally Hindus of Gujarat 
converted by the Ismafliya missionaries, but those resident in 
Ahmadabad sometimes use Hindu names, call in a Brahman 
as well as aQazI to perform the marriage rites, and their women, 
after a death in the family, wail and beat their breasts like 

1 BG. ix, part 2, 41 ; xiii, part 1, 239 f. ; Census Report, Baroda, 
1911, i. 320 f.; Forbes, Rds Mala, 264 f. They are known in the 
Panjab as Maulai, Rose, ill. 73 f . 

2 Macdonald, 49 ; BG. ix, part 2, 239 ff. ; Thurston, Castes, iii. 
288 fE.; Yule, Marco Polo, 1st ed., i. 132 f. ; Edwardes, i. 181 f. In 
the Panjab the word Khwaja means a eunuch, a scavenger converted 
to Islam, and a Musalman trader. Rose, i. 536. 

* Forbes, Ras Mala, 264 ; BG. ix, part 2, 68. 

14 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

Musalmans are divided into two main sects, the Sunn! and 
the Shi'a, the former term meaning ' one of the Path, a tradi- 
tionahst', the latter 'a follower', that is to say, of 'All, 
cousin-german of the Prophet and husband of his daughter 
Fatima. The ShI'as maintain that 'All was the first legitimate 
Imam, divinely illuminated and preserved (ma'^sum) from sin, 
and they accordingly reject the first three Khalifas recognized 
by the Sunnis, Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Usman. Hence the 
Sunnis are called Charyarl, ' those who follow the four ', the 
Shi'as Tinyari, ' those who follow the three Khalifas '. Shi'as 
are also known as Imamiya, the Imam being the rightful 
leader of the faithful, while the Sunnis call them Rafizi or 
' forsakers of the truth '. The list of the twelve Shi'a Imams 
begins with 'AIT and ends with Muhammad al-askarl, the 
Imam Mahdi, who has for the present withdrawn from the 
world, but, it is believed, will appear again in the last days. 
The religious life of the Shi'a centres round a body of tradi- 
tions, beliefs, and observances which have their source in 'All, 
Fatima, and their sons Hasan and Husain who, with the 
Prophet, make up the venerated Panjtan-i-pak, the Five Holy 
Ones. 'All is revered as the vicar or even as the incarnation of 
Allah. The differences between these two sects are partly 
religious, partly social. The SunnI makes pilgrimage to the 
holy cities, Mecca and Medina, the Shi'a to Karbala, or Mash- 
shadu-1-Husain, the scene of the martyrdom, about fifty miles 
south-west of Baghdad and six miles west of the river 
Euphrates. Shi'as recognize the Mujtahid, or ' learned doctors ', 
the highest order of Musalman divines, while the Sunnis say 
that in the present condition of Islam they cannot be appointed. 
Shi'as observe the Muharram festival, in which only the less 
strict Sunnis join. Some sects of .Shi'as include among the 
Ahlu-1-kitab, or ' men of the Book ', the Majiisi or Magi fire- 
worshippers in addition to Jews and Christians. Shi'as admit 
the principle of Taqiya, ' guarding oneself ', that is that they 
are justified in minimizing or denying the peculiarities of their 
religious beliefs in order to avoid persecution.^ Among 

* In support of this they quote the passage in the Koran (iii. 27), 
as usually interpreted : ' Whether ye hide what is in your breasts, or 
whether ye publish it abroad, God knoweth it.' 


differences in the forms of prayer it may be noted that Shi'as 
add to the Azan or Bang, the call to prayer, the words ' Come 
to the best of works ! Come to the best of works ! ', and repeat 
the last sentence, ' There is no God but Allah ', twice instead of 
once, as the Sunnis do. During the Qiyam or standing posture 
in prayer the Shi'as keep their hands on either side of the body, 
not on the navel or breast. They also usually omit the Subhan 
or ' blessing ', and at the Takbir-i-ruku', or bending of the 
body, they add ' And with His praise ! '. In the Creed they add 
' 'All is the Prophet of Allah '.' 

In upper India, as a whole, the relations of Sunnis and 
Shi'as are marked, if not by friendliness, at least by mutual 
toleration. The Muharram processions of the Shi'as are 
generally conducted without opposition, and Sunnis some- 
times take a part, even if it be subordinate, in these celebra- 
tions. But elsewhere instances of tension, and occasionally 
of active opposition, have occurred. In 1709 there were 
serious disturbances at Lahore in consequence of an order that 
in the Kliutba or bidding prayer the Shl'a form ' 'All is the 
Saint of God and heir (wast) of the Prophet of God ', should 
be added.2 In 1872 there were serious riots between the 
followers of the rival sects in the city of Bombay, and again 
during the Muharram of 1904 which culminated in a refusal 
to bring out and immerse the cenotaphs.^ The Ghair-i-Mahdi 
sect and the Sunnis have come into conflict in southern India. 

Among the Sunnis there are four orthodox schools ot Law 
interpretation : 1. Hanafi or Hanlfl, founded by Abii Hanlfa, 
which is followed in Turkey, central Asia, and north India. 
It is distinguished by the latitude allowed to private judgement 
in the interpretation of the Law. It has been called ' the high 
and dry party of Church and State, a system of casuistry, an 
attempt to build up on scientific principles a set of rules which 
would answer every conceivable question of Law ' ; * 2. Shaft 'I, 
founded by Imam Muhammad ibn Idris as-Shafi'i, born in 767, 

» For Shi'a beliefs in the Panjab hills, Rose, i. 574 ff. For the 
practices of the Mulahida, 'infidels', or Chiraghkush, Elias-Ross, 218 f. 

* EIliot-Dowson, vii. 420, 427. There is much enmity between the 
two sects on the north-west frontier, Rose, ii. 279. 

^ Edwardes, ii. 105, 179. 

* Census Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 189 ; Macdonald, 95. 

16 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, i 

' one of the greatest figures in the history of Law ' ; i 3. Malik!, 
founded by Imam Mahk, mostly confined to north Africa, with 
few adherents in India ; 2 4. Hanbali, followers of Ibn Hanbal 
(780-855), little known in India, but favoured by the Arabian 

While by the possession of its Scriptures, traditions, and 
decisions of jurists Islam presents the outward characteristics 
of a well-organized system, there are throughout India great 
differences of dogma, ritual, and social practices which have 
arisen partly from the isolation of many of its groups from 
the centres of Muslim belief and usage, and partly because 
many of its adherents have carried with them into their new 
faith principles and practices which grew up in their original 
environment. Such differences are possible in the type of 
Islam prevailing in India because, like Hinduism, it possesses 
no Pope, holds no Councils or Convocations, and has no great 
local centre like Cairo or the sacred cities of Arabia for western 
Islam, sucli as Rome or Canterbury are in Christianity. Fervour 
in belief and practice is usually confined to special classes 
of devotees and to special occasions. The village Musalman 
seldom attends any but the Friday prayers, and even for this 
purpose, in regions where Hinduism is dominant, mosques are 
often absent. The Muharram is to ShI'as a season of solemn 
grief and self-denial, when religious enthusiasm is vigorously 
stimulated. The Ramazan is generally a time of fasting, and 
the Tarawih, or special night prayers are recited with special 
devotion. Among some of the higher classes the habit of 
appointing Pirs or Murshids, teachers and religious guides, 
is common, and though some of these, like the Hindu Gurus, 
do not always practise what they preach, the system tends 
to promote a more careful observance of the Law and a deeper 
tone of religious life. The organization of these family 
chaplains is fully described in this book. 

» Macdonald, 144. 

^ Ibid., 99 ; ERE. viii. 372. 

3 ERE. vii. 69 f. 



Though the desire for male offspring does not influence 
Musalmans to the same extent as Hindus, who believe that it 
is only a son who can perform the funeral rites which admit the 
spirit of his father into the company of his sainted ancestors, 
still among Musalmans the craving for a male heir is often 
intense. Among the Brahms, ' in the wide world there is naught 
man and wife set their hearts on more than the birth of a son. 
For who would be content to quit this world and leave no son 
behind ? As for a daughter, a daughter is little more than a 
gift to your neighbour '.i Hence many devices are employed 
to relieve barrenness. In Gujarat, ' some 'Amils or exorcists 
give their applicants cardamoms, or cloves, or pieces of 
candied sugar, on which the mystic and powerful Names of 
God being blown, they are supposed to possess the virtue of 
casting out the spirit of barrenness, since, as a rule, barrenness 
is due to spirit-possession. Others direct strands of thread to 
be worn round the abdomen or the neck ; others, again, 
simply write or trace some name or charm of words with the 
tip of the finger over the womb of the woman or the loins of 
the man. An exorcist or 'Amil has also to help after conception 
with the object that the issue may be male. He gives charms 
to be washed in water for a monthly bath. Some dead Saints 
have a reputation as child-givers. To tie knots on bits of string 
or ribbon to a post or pillar supporting the canopy over a 
Saint's tomb is considered by barren women one of the surest 

1 Bray, 1. The Arabs objected to the birth of a girl. ' And they 
ascribe daughters unto God. Glory be to Him ! But they desire them 
not for themselves ' (Koran, xvi. 59). There is, however, no evidence 
of infanticide among them, a common custom among certain Hindu 
castes (Census Report, India, 1911, i. 215 &.). The custom among the 
Gakkhars of the Panjab hills seems to be sporadic or of foreign origin 
(Ferishta, i. 183). 


18 ISLAM IN INDIA chap ii 

means of obtaining issue '.^ The tomb of Shaikh Sallm Chishti 
at Fathpur SIkri, by whose intercession Akbar believed that 
he had been blessed with a son, is even at the present day 
visited by childless Hindu and Musalman women who tie 
threads or rags on the lovely screen which surrounds 
it .2 A tree in the enclosure of the Saint Shaikh 'Alam at 
Ahmadabad yields a peculiar acorn-like fruit which is much 
valued by childless women. If the birth of a child follows the 
eating of the fruit, the man or woman who used it should for 
a term of years at every anniversary of the death of the Saint 
come and water the roots of the tree with milk. The leaves 
of a tree near the grave of Miran Sahib at Anjha have the 
same effect. The Baloch, when a woman desires a child, hold 
a staff against a wall and make the woman pass three times 
beneath it, or she is sent to visit shrines, particularly that of 
Shah Wasawa, where she embraces a tree which overhangs his 
tomb. 3 Other approved methods are : to give the woman 
a charm or magic diagram which is either washed in rose- 
water and drunk, or worn round the neck ; to bathe in water 
drawn from seven wells on the night of the DivalT or Hindu 
Feast of Lights, when spirits are abroad ; to scare the evil 
spirit which besets the woman by abusing her ; to castigate 
her with a charmed chain ; to write on a piece of bread a series 
of numbers which make up seventy-three, and give it to a 
black dog ; to burn down the hut of a neighbour to remove 
the taboo.* The Brahui with the same object circumcise the 
woman, but if the fault is supposed to lie with her husband 
and a physician fails to remedy it, a MuUa provides a charm 
or amulet, and if this fails the blaine is laid on the Jinn.^ 

^ BO. ix, part 2, 147 f. Such tombs are known in the Panjab as 
Khanaqdh, the original meaning of which is ' a convent ' (Rose, i. 519). 
On magic by means of knots see ERE. vii. 747 Q. 

^ Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, 104 ff. Miniature cradles are often 
hung at shrines as a charm for children, a Bedouin practice. A. H. 
Layard, Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, 309. 

^ Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, p. 83. For trees at Saints' tombs, 
see Frazer, Folklore of the O.T., iii. 41. 

* Census Report, Baroda, 1911, i. 177; Crooke, Popular Religion, 
i. 50, 68, 87, 100, 160, 226 ; J AS., Bombay, iv. 63. On hut-burning in 
Indian ritual, see W. Crooke, Man, xix. 18 ff. 

5 Bray. 1 ff. ; Hartland, Primitive Paternity, i. 30 ff. 


When conception is announced, the expectant mother is 
subjected to various taboos, and she takes various precautions 
to avoid the attacks of evil spirits. All her cravings for food 
must be indulged, such as that for eating earth, which is sup- 
posed to check vomiting.^ If such things are denied to her, 
the result will be a miscarriage. In Gujarat she wears silk 
threads round her waist, each thread bearing a knot for each 
month of her pregnancy. At the ninth month these are 
unwound, incense is burned over them, and they are thrown 
into water.2 The Divall or Hindu feast of lights is a specially 
dangerous time, because evil spirits are likely to be about. 
She must not enter a shed used at marriage or other festivities ; 
she must not be present at death or other family rites. She, her 
husband, and her relatives must not eat anything during an 
eclipse, because these are supposed to be caused by evil 
spirits attacking the sun or moon. If anything folded, like 
betel, is cut at this time, the child will be born with folded ears 
or will suffer from hare-lip, and if any one smokes, the child 
will have a weak chest which causes gurgling like that of a 
tobacco pipe. During an eclipse the friends should pray and 
read the Koran, lay grain on a bed and give it to friends. 
During pregnancy the woman should not wear new clothes or 
ornaments, use eye coUyrium, stain her hands or feet with 
henna, or colour her teeth, because such things attract the 
Evil Eye. She must not touch a coco-nut or any underground 
root because such things resist the gatherer, must be dug up 
with force, and thus delivery may be impeded. Many of these 
taboos are identical with those of the Hindus or have been 
borrowed from them.^ 

The sex of the expected child may be foretold by an examina- 
tion of the woman by a committee of midwives. Among the 
Baloch a house snake is killed and the woman steps over its 
body, and then it is thrown in the air in the hope that it will 

1 On earth-eating see Memoirs ASB. 1908, p. 249 £f. ; Russell, ill. 197 ; 
iv. 69 ; Thurston, Notes, 552 ff. ; Mrs. L. Milne, The Shans at Home, 
181. On pregnancy rites in general, ERE. x. 242 f. ; JRAI. xxxv. 
271 ff. ; 279 ff. ; Folk-lore, xiii. 279 ; Rose, i. 759 f. 

2 BO. ix, part 1, 149. 

3 Russell, iv. 68 f., 551 ; Crooke, Popular Religion, i. 18, 


20 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

fall on its back, but if it falls on its belly the birth of a daughter 
is certain J In Baroda a few drops of milk are squeezed from the 
woman's breasts, and if the milk is thin the birth of a boy is 

In the Deccan before the announcement of the first pregnancy 
the woman's lap and that of her husband are filled with fruits 
of various kinds, her mother sends clothes and the friends are 
feasted. The Satmasa, Satwansa or Satwasa, the rite in the 
seventh month which has been borrowed from the Hindus, is 
the most important. The woman is invited by her parents, 
who give her new clothes, perfume her with rose-water and 
sandalwood, invite a few friends to a party, sit up with her 
all night, and scare evil spirits by music and festivity. They 
press a little of her milk on a yellow cloth, and if a white stain 
is left they expect a girl, if it leaves a yellow mark a boy. At 
the Naumasa, or ninth month, the friends assemble, and the 
woman is allowed to wear the new clothes and jewellery which 
up to this time she has discarded. Then comes the Sahnak or 
pot rite of BIbl Fatima. Food is cooked in little pots, over 
which the Fatiha ^ or first chapter of the Koran is read in the 
name of Fatima, daughter of the Prophet, and the food is 
given to some women who are selected on account of their 
virtue. Vigil, as before, is kept with rejoicings. In Gujarat 
slaked lime is served with the food as a sort of ordeal, because 
it is supposed not to burn the mouth of a chaste woman.* The 
glance of no male, not even that of a boy, must fall on the food 
thus served. In north India such rites are done four months 
and five days after the announcement of pregnancy, usually 
only in the case of the first child, and also at the ninth month. 

^ Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, p. 83 f. 

2 Census Report, 1911, i. 178. Cf. Russell, ii. 27 ; A. L. K. Anantha 
Krishna Iyer, ii. 372. 

^ Fatiha, ' the opener ', the Paternoster prefixed to the Koran, was 
probably composed late in the Prophet's career, as it contains polemical 
references to Jews and Christians (' those who have incurred anger 
and go astray '), because his hostility to the Jews did not begin till 
after his migration, and that towards Christians some years later. 
Birth in the eighth month is unlucky, and it is attributed to a cat 
entering her room. Hence eight is never used in counting a child's age, 
being called anginnat, ' uncounted ' (Rose, i. 738 f.). 

^ B6. ix, part 2, 151 f. 


The woman's nails are cut and the parings are put in a silver 
box which is given to the barber's wife. The woman who 
dresses her must be one who enjoys the fullest married happi- 
ness .1 Among the Brahuis, on the new moon of the seventh 
month seven kinds of grain are cooked and distributed among 
the kin, who must send a gift in return. After the rite they 
keep vigil. 2 

It is a general custom that the first child should be born 
at the house of the mother's parents. ^ A separate room is 
arranged, and a fire is kept burning in it to defend the mother 
and child from the Jinn and the Evil Eye.* As among Hindus, 
many charms are used to aid delivery. A line of boys fetch 
water from the well, and the speed with which the vessel is 
passed from hand to hand helps delivery, or a lump of clay 
from a potter's wheel, which has thus acquired the quality of 
swiftness, is mixed with water and given to her to drink.^ 
A square rupee of Akbar, which bears the Emperor's name with 
that of the four Companions of the Prophet, is dipped in water 
which is given to her, but no British or other secular coin can 
be used in this way.^ By way of sympathetic magic, delivery 
is aided by giving the schoolboys a holiday, or the girdle of 
some holy man is dipped in water which she drinks. In the 
act of delivery she lies on a quilt spread on the ground, with 
her head north and her feet south, for in case she dies in child- 
birth this is the position in which Musalmans are buried, with 
the face towards Mecca. Or she squats on the ground holding 
a bed while the midwife rubs her back and presses a broom 
against her abdomen. Among the Brahui she lies on sand, 
and they say that a boy is born with his head towards the 
ground, a girl facing her mother.' In labour she is assisted by a 

1 NINQ. iii. 186 ff. 2 Bray, 7. 

=• This ia also a Hindu rule (Dubois, Hindu Maimers, 338 ; BG. xix. 
85 ; Thurston, Castes, vi. 101 ; Russell, ii. 434). On the special powers 
of first-bom children, Rose, i. 742 f. 

* This is also an Arab custom (Burton, AN. ix. 184) and common 
among Hindus. 

' Russell, ii. 27, iii. 563; Crooke, Popular Religion, i. 116. Water 
in which a brick from the Chakravyahu, a labyrinthine fort of the 
Mahabharata war, is given to her to drink (Crooke, op. cit. i. 116). 

" PNQ. iii. 8, iv. 10. For Musulman corns used as amulets, ERE. 
i"- '^08. ' JRAl. sxxvii. 237 ; Bray, 9 ; Russell, iv. 222. 

22 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

midwife, known as Dai, Janai or Chamarin, who is so ignorant 
and careless about sanitary precautions that any but an 
ordinary presentation is fatal to the mother.^ In cases of 
protracted labour, alms are given to the poor, prayers are said, 
an amulet is hung on the thigh of the patient, water in which 
the beard of some holy man has been dipped is administered to 
her, a charmed potsherd is laid on her abdomen. Among the 
Pathans the midwife brings water to the husband, who washes 
his hands and feet, and the water is given to the woman to 

Immediately after delivery she is made to swallow a small 
copper coin or a bit of copper to help to expel the placenta. 
The midwife calls for a piece of sharpened silver, which she 
claims as her perquisite after she has severed the cord with it. 
She then puts the cord into a pot with a coppe't coin and betel 
leaf, and buries it in a corner of the room or in a cool place 
where the water-pots are kept, so that the cool damp may cause 
it to grow and so benefit the child. If a knife is used to cut the 
cord it must not be put to any other purpose, but it is left near 
the patient till the fortieth day, when Kajal or lampblack is 
collected on it and applied to the eyes of the child. In the 
Panjab the pot containing the cord is buried inside the house, 
and betel leaf, silver, turmeric, and charcoal are thrown on it 
to repel evil spirits, while a fire is lighted over it for six days 
till it is supposed tobeconsumed.^ The Brahui bury the cord in 
a place where no dog can find it, for if it chances to be eaten 
by a dog the baby grows restless and becomes a squaller.* 
The Baloch think that if a dog or cat gets hold of the cord the 
mother's milk will dry up, so they bury it in the house and 
cover it with rice and molasses, a precaution which leads to a 
second pregnancy .^ In the Imperial household they used to 
sever the cord with a thread and put it in a small bag which 
was kept under the child's pillow ' with certain superstitious 

» Wise, 50 ff ; Burton, Sindh, 147. 

^ Burton, Sindh, 147 ; Bray, 9 ; BO. ix, part 2, 155 ; Rose, ill. 225. 
» JEAI. xxxvii. 237. * Bray, 10. 

* Census Report, 1911, p. 184. Cf. Russell, ill. 197, 396 ; BG. ix, part 2, 
157, xix. 91, xxii. 74 ; Crawley, 118. 
" Manucci, ii. 346. 


As soon as the placenta is expelled, they give the woman 
some asafoetida to prevent her from catching cold. A hand- 
kerchief is tied on her head, a roller bound round her abdomen, 
and she is laid on a bed or on a sheet spread on the ground, in 
a warm room, which in rich families is enclosed with curtains, 
while beside the bed are laid a lemon, leaves of the Nim tree 
{melia azadirachta), a Katar or dirk, a knife or other weapon to 
keep off evil. They then give her a packet of betel leaves with 
some myrrh (bol) to chew. In Gujarat, when the child is born, 
the midwife, in order to deceive the spirits, if it is a boy, says 
that it is a girl or blind of an eye, but if it is a girl the fact is 
stated because a girl does not provoke jealousy and the Evil 
Eye.^ In north India, if it is a boy, the midwife cries 'A son, 
may you be lucky ! ' ; if a girl ' May she be a blessing I ' 
In the case of a son the father discharges a gun from the 
housetop, as it is said to announce the birth, but really to 
scare evil spirits, and with the same object he strikes an iron 
griddle-plate three times with a stick. The midwife washes the 
baby in water mixed with Ghana or gram flour, and the friends 
throw coins into the pot as her fee, while she also gets the 
clothes and bedding used by the patient.^ In the Panjab the 
midwife washes the mother's breasts with water, using, as 
the Hindus do, some blades of holy grass as a brush, and this 
washing is done a second time by the baby's sister or some 
other woman of the family. Next day the midwife fastens a 
charm made of green leaves on the house door and the child 
is suckled.^ 

In south India the drink given to the mother for forty days is 
water boiled in which a red hot horseshoe or other piece of iron 
has been slaked. In some places, as in Persia, she gets nothing 
to eat or drink for the first three days.* Some give AchhwanI 
or Achwani, a caudle, so called because it consists of dill 
{ajivain, ligusticum ajowan), sugar and flour. This is followed 
by vegetables and wheaten flour, sugar and butter boiled into 
a paste, and then a wheaten dumpling {thali, thiili). Many 
people give her Sathaura or Sonthaura, so called because it is 
made of dry ginger {south), boiled with soft sugar and butter. 

' BQ. ix, part 2, 154. - ^ ninq_ m X88. 

' JEAi. xxxvii. 232. ^ J. Atkinson, 49. 

24 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

After this she is allowed old rice seasoned with black pepper. 
By the tenth or twelfth day she resumes her ordinary food. 
In the Pan jab she is fed with pieces of bread soaked in butter 
and sugar, which is said to promote the flow of milk and is 
used as long as she is suckling.^ Soon after birth the midwife 
gives the baby Ghutti, ' a gulp or draught ', a cleansing medi- 
cine made of aloes, spices, and borax, or honey water is given 
and next day an infusion of dill, beans, and a light sweetmeat. 
In Gujarat the Ghutti consists of aniseed, myrobolans, dried 
rose leaves, senna, and droppings of mice or goats.^ 

Whenever the child is bathed or taken out of the house the 
knife used to cut the cord is taken with it as a protective, and 
when the child is brought back the knife is replaced beside the 
mother, and it is used on the Chilla or fortieth day in sacrificing 
a sheep or a cock. In some families the mother does not oil 
or comb her hair for forty days after her delivery, but wears 
a handkerchief on her head, and some people during that time 
do not allow her to leave her room except to bathe on the 
ChhathI or sixth day and on the Chilla or fortieth, or for the 
purpose of counting the stars as described later on. During this 
time when a stranger enters the house he or she throws some 
Sipand or Ispand {peganum harmala) on the fire to disperse any 
evil that may have come with them. Some place an iron plate 
on which lampblack is collected and a broom beside the door 
until the fortieth day.^ Great care is taken that no dog or 
cat enters, and even the name of a cat is not mentioned. But 
Muhammad said ' Cats are not impure ; they keep watch 
around us '.^ 

After the child is washed and swaddled he is presented to the 
friends. The Azan or Bang, the call to prayer, is uttered into 
his right ear and the Kalima or Creed in his left. This is 
generally done by the preacher or KHiatlb, or by a boy who gets 
a reward for saying ' Allahu akbar ! ' ' God is very great ! ' 

1 PNQ. i. 86 ; cf. Risley, Tribes,!. 211 ; Census Report, Baroda, 1911, 
i. 179 ; Anantha Krishna Iyer, i. 297, ii. 314, 468 ; Russell, ii. 413, 
iv. 293 ; JRAI. xxxvii. 242. 

2 Rose, iii. 226 ; NINQ. iii. 128 ; JRAI. xxxvii. 239 ; BG. ix. 
part 2, 155. 

^ On the broom in magic, Folklore, xxx. 169 ff. 
* Hughes, 49. 


Among rich people a Mashaikli, or venerable man, or the 
Murshid, or family guide, dips his finger in honey or chews a 
date or a grape and puts it into the child's mouth before he is 
put to the breast, in order that the wisdom of the sage may be 
imparted to him. The Fatiha is then said, and sugar and betel 
are distributed. When the friends hear of the birth they come 
to the house each of them carrying a blade or two of green 
grass, which the leader sticks in the father's hair. In return 
for congratulations he gives them a Got or present which is 
spent on an entertainment in one of their houses or in a neigh- 
bouring garden. 

The custom of moulding the child's head prevails on the 
north-west frontier.^ The Brahiii shape by pressure the head 
and features of the child, measure the mouth, and if it is 
bigger than the space of a finger joint they press it into shape 
with a ring, rub the lips to make them thin and press the nose. 
In the case of a girl they press back any Bhaunri or lock of 
hair which projects in front, and at the same time the body and 
feet are anointed and brought into the proper shape. ^ In the 
Bahawalpur State they mould the head in a deep cup-shaped 
earthen pot in order to make the back of the skull round. ^ 

There are four kinds of Dal or nurses : the midwife, DaT, 
Daijanal, or Chamarin, wife of a man of the Chamar caste, 
workers in leather ; Dai-dMh-pilai or Anna, a wet nurse ; 
Dai-khilai, Chhochha, the dry nurse or nursery-maid ; Dai- 
asil. Mama, Aya, a ladies' maid. The Mughal name for a nurse 
or foster-mother was Anaga or Anka, for a foster-father 
Koka or Kukaltash, a nurse's husband and her male relations 
Atka.* The poorer orders usually take nurses from the lower 
orders. Musalman children are generally nursed till they are 
two and a half years old, which according to the Law is the 
time during which the nurse is treated as a foster-mother ; 

1 It is mentioned by the Buddhist pilgrims (Beal, Si-yu-ki, i. 19, 
ii. 306 ; Watters, On Yuan Chwang, i. 59, ii. 292). 

^ Bray, 18 ff. ; Thorburn, 145 f. ; Ma7i, ii. 3, 40 ; Census Report, 
Baluchistan, 1911, 182 f. ; Census Report, Andaman Islands, 1911, 199 ; 
JRAI. xviii. 367, xxiii. 238 ; Frazer, Lectures on the History of the 
Kingship, 260. 

^ Malik Muhammad Din, Bahawalpur Gazetteer, 9G. 

* Elliot-Dowson, v. 231 ; Smith, Aklar, 20 ; Aln, i. 323. 

26 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

but if the child is nursed by another woman during that time 
she is not regarded as his proper foster-mother, and it is not 
unusual to see children three and four years old hanging about 
their mother's breasts.'- Ladies scarcely ever nurse their own 
children, as they consider nursing to be weakening and in- 
jurious to the figure. 

The child is bathed morning and evening and fumigated 
with the smoke of Ispand (paganum harmala) and lignum aloes, 
and they tie round its neck patchouli leaves {pogostemon 
heyneanus) and asafoetida to prevent the shadow of strangers 
falling upon it.^ Whenever the child is bathed they take some 
red or yellow dye made of quicklime and turmeric and add to it 
a few bits of charcoal, all of which the nurse waves three times 
over the child and then throws it away, or she merely takes 
some water in a vessel, waves it over the child, and then pours 
it on her own feet, signifying ' May all the child's misfortunes 
fall on me ! ' So people say ' All the child's troubles have 
beset the midwife '. 

The naming of children is often done on the day of birth or 
on that day week.^ Generally the former day is chosen because 
until the child is named the mother in some families does not 
receive even a drink of water, much less betel, perfumes, or other 
luxuries. After the naming the Fatiha is said over sweetmeats 
and these are sent accompanied by music to absent friends. 
This is the business of the midwife, who receives gifts in return. 
In Gujarat the mother, according to Hindu custom, is led to 
a window and made to count seven stars.* 

The children of Musalmans belong to the tribe of the father, 
and consequently if the boy be a Sayyid's son the first word of 
his name will be Sayyid or Mir, as Sayyid 'Ali or Mir Ahmad. 

» Crooke, Things Indian, 99 ; Lane, ME. i. 68. 

''^On danger from the shadow, Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of the 
Soul, 255. In the Panjab women go on Sundays to the shrine of Bibi 
Puraniwali to get relief from the shadow (parchkawdn) of a demon or 
apparition (Rose, i. 593). 

3 On the importance of names see Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of 
the Soul, 308 ff. ; Fowler, Religious Experiences of the Roman People, 
29 ; Hartland, Primitive Paternity, i. 222 £f. 

* BG. ix. part 2, 892 ; Monier- Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 
4th ed., 344. 


But these honorific titles are often dropped in after life, and so 
it becomes necessary to ask the tribe to which a man belongs. 
The original rule of the Law runs ' Call your children after the 
Prophet ' : and the names God loves best are 'Abdu-1-lah, 
' servant of God ', 'Abdu-1-rahman, ' servant of the Com- 
passionate ', Harith or ' husbandman ', Humam ' diligent ' ; 
while the worst are Harb, ' war ', and Murra, ' bitterness '.^ 
But these rules do not apply to modern Indo-Musalmans. 

If he be the son of a Shaikh, then at the beginning or end of 
his name is added one of the following designations : Khwaja, 
' lord ', Ghulam, ' servant ', Muhammad, the Prophet, Din, 
' religion ', 'All, son-in-law of the Prophet, Bakhsh, ' given ', 
'Abd, ' servant ' ; as Khwaja Yusuf, Ghulam Nabi, Muhammad 
Husain, Shamsu-d-din, Hasan Bakhsh, Raza 'AIT, Shaikh 
Muhammad, 'Abdu-1-qadir. These names, however, do not 
always indicate a Shaikh, since Sayyids often use the same 

If he be the son of a Mughal, his name begins or ends with the 
titles Mirza, MIrza, Amirzada, ' son of an Amir or lord ', or Aga, 
Agha, ' chief ', as for instance, Mirza Ahmad, Ismail Beg, Aga 
or Agha Ja'far. In the royal family of Persia the title MIrza is 
placed after the name instead of before it .2 The title Mirza 
seems to have been adopted because the mother was a Sayyid, 
the males of which group have the title Mir even if the father 
was a Mughal. In the case of Pathans the title Khan, ' lord, 
master ', or Khan Sahib is invariably used at the end of the 
name, as Bahadur lOian, ' valiant lord '. We frequently 
however, find Shaikhs and Sayyids with the title Klian 
attached to their names, as Ghulam Ahmad Khan ; but in 
such cases it is bestowed upon them by their masters as an 
honorary title. 

The following are exceptions to these rules. Should the 
father be a Shaikh and the mother a Sayyid the word Sharif, 
' eminent ', is usually added to the beginning or end of the 
child's name, as Ja'far Sharif or Sharif Ja'far. It is customary 
with some people to add this appellation to all the names of the 
family, as Ja'far Sharif, son of 'Ali Sharif, son of Sharif Hamid. 

* Mishkat, ii. 421. On Arabic names see ERE. ix. 137 ff. 
^ J. Morier, Journey through Persia in 1808-9, 234. 

28 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

In most cases, however, when the mother is a Sayyidani and 
the father a Shaikh, they leave out the word Sharif, call them- 
selves Shaikli Alimad, or some equivalent name, and belong to 
the Shaikli group. In other places, again, they add the word 
Khwaja, ' nobleman '. When the father is a Mughal and the 
mother a Sayyidani their offspring get the name of liliwajazada, 
' son of a nobleman ', and the title Khwaja is often given to 
spiritual guides, like the Pir or Murshid. Others, again, of all 
the four groups add to their names the titles Sahib, ' master ', 
Miyan, ' sir ', Jan, ' life ' as, for example, Daud Sahib, 'Ammu 
Jan. This, however, is not the established practice in any 
group, but parents are accustomed to call their children by 
these familiar names out of affection, so that when they grow 
to manhood these names become established and the real 
names are often forgotten. 

The following names are added to the beginning or end of the 
full titles of girls. Among Sayyids women are called Begam, 
' lady ', Bi, Bibi, ' mistress ', Nissa, ' woman ', Shah, ' queen '. 
To the names of Shaikh girls they add only the titles Ma, 
' mother ', Bi or Bibi, except in the case of children of rank 
who get the title Begam. This is also the rule with Mughals 
and Pathans. Mughal women use the title Khanam, ' lady ', 
added to the end of their names, but illegitimate daughters 
receive the title Bai, ' lady '. Rich people sometimes adopt 
the daughters of other people who are called Gayan, ' singers ', 
and the word Bai is added to their names, but when they make 
favourites of such girls they are called Begam. In the old days, 
slave girls with whom their masters cohabited were first called 
Bibi, then Bai, Klianam or Begam. There are two kinds of 
Musalman dancing-girls, Natni and Kanchani, the latter 
being usually a Hindu, while Kasbi or Harjai is the usual 
term for a prostitute. The former sometimes receive the titles 
Bai or Kunwar, the lattef Baklish. 

It is not customary among Musalmans to give their own 
names to their children. The modes of naming are as follows : 
First the child is named after some member of the family, as the 
grandfather on either side, or after the tutelary Saint of the 
family. In north India the name should never be that of an 
ancestor within two or three generations ; indeed it is contrary 

CHAP. 11 BIRTH 29 

to rule to give the child the name of a relation or member of the 
family.! \Yg niust also distinguish the 'Alam, or individual 
name ; Kunyat, that of relationship ; Laqab, honorary ; the 
'Alamat, or royal title ; the 'Anwan, that of honour ; Ansab, 
that implying denomination, and Talchallus, the nom de plume. 
Secondly, at an auspicious time which is fixed from the table 
given below, eight or ten learned men meet and fix upon the 
first letter of any page of the Koran opened at random (fdl) as 
that which should begin the name.^ The name is often fixed by 
astrological considerations. Thus Akbar was named im- 
mediately after his birth Badru-d-din ' full moon of religion ', 
because he was born on the full moon of the month Sha'ban. 
But his relations, with the object of protecting him from 
Black Magic, and to frustrate the calculations of. hostile 
astrologers, selected a new official birthday, the fifth of the 
month Rajab. His former name being thus inappropriate, he 
was renamed Jalalu-d-din ' the splendour of religion '.^ 
Thirdly, a few tickets on which different names are inscribed 
are rolled up, laid on a plate or put into a cup which is covered 
with a handkerchief, and the contents are shaken about and 
scattered on the floor. Any little child present is desired to 
pick up one of them and the name inscribed on it is selected. 
Fourthly, some people choose a name from among those 
which begin with the letter found at the beginning or end of 
the name of the planet under which the child was born. The 
following are the rules : The planets, seven in number, Shams, 
the Sun, Qamar, the Moon, Zuhal, Kaiwan, Saturn, Zohra, 
Venus, 'Utarid, Mercury, Mirrikh, Mars, Mushtari, Jupiter, are 
supposed to preside over the twenty-four hours of day and 

1 NINQ. i. 116. Among Syrian Musulmans to call a child after 
a relative is equivalent to saying, ' May you soon die, and this child 
prove to be your heir ' (Folk-lore, ix. 14 f.). 

^ This is also known as istikhdra, and it is practised at the tomb of 
Hafiz, at Shiraz, by consulting the works of the poet (Wills, 277). 

3 Smith, Akbar, 18 f. 







, a 



11 a.m. 







S =3 

^i d 


a c6 

OD ft 

rt f^ 

§ ft 

S c^ 

« ft 

s » 

> o 






p >* 

O lO 

CC o 


§ o 
1=1 ^J 

^^ o 









r— 1 




Jj ft 
5 CO 


2 00 

u a 


11 a.m. 


> o 



u a 

r, a 



O l> 


C3 1-H 

C ft 
O (N 

2 CO 

2 fi 

2 a 



1* o 
02 2 

2. O 
1-5 4i 


% o 

M 2 

15 ° 

y o 







p— 1 






CQ o 




» o 




to 10 a.m. 

to 11 a.m. 


02 2 

to 1 p.m. 





1— ( 

1 — 1 

cS cvj S CO 

O ^ iJ rt 1 (N 

I— I ,— I •— ' 

% ^ 

'^ -u 





fl ft 

o CO 
S o 


7 a.m. 

8 a.m. 

2 ci 



P r— ( 


C! -" 


CQ 2 


^ o 











O *^ 

^ o 

m 2 

2 ^ 

1-5 -t= 

^ CD 


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g ^' 




p ^ 


O <M 

to 1 p.m. 


g p- 

to 4 p.m. 

§ ft 



S o 



c o 
> o 

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O ^ 




c^ CO 












I— ( 






pi c3 



fl c- 

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O 05 

. ^ o 

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g d 

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02 Q 





g c« 

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.12 ''^ 

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O Ttl 

^ o 


<^ o 
CZJ 2 

"-5 4i 

^ 0» Srj 


2 i> 

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3 M 


2 p.m. 

M a 



2 =^ 

2 «3 


CJ ft 


2 P^ 

g f^ 

c ^ 


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s 2 



Ci — < 

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* tK 

B. "5 

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'^^ o 







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For example, if the child be born on Sunday between 6 and 
7 a. m., on reference to the table we find that Shams, the Sun, 
is dominant at that time. Consequently the name should 
begin with sh ; or the last letter of Shams being s the name may 
begin with that letter. 

This table, or genethliacal scheme, may be used in three 
ways ; first, in the selection of names as just described ; 
secondly, in ascertaining what day or hour is propitious or the 
reverse for doing any particular business. For example, 
during the time that Saturn rules no good work must be under- 
taken, as Saturn being the celestial eunuch is unpropitious ; 
Sun, the cook, indifferent ; Venus, the prostitute, propitious ; 
Mercury, the teacher, propitious ; Moon, the messenger, in- 
different ; Mars, the executioner, unpropitious ; Jupiter, the 
judge, propitious.! Thirdly, having ascertained from the table 
under the dominance of which planet the child was born, they 
cast his nativity and hereby predict his future destiny. For 
instance, if a person is born on Sunday at 12.30 or 12.45 a.m., 
which according to the Musalman calendar would be Sunday 
night — as they calculate the day from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., or 
roughly speaking from sunset to sunrise — ^the planet domi- 
nant at that time being Venus, her influence will be exerted 
on him, and he will be fond of music and singing, of dress and 

The planets exercise many influences, favourable and un- 
favourable, on the human race, of which a few examples maybe 
given. The Dispositions of the Sun : One born under the 
dominance of the Sun, male or female, will be wealthy, sensible, 
passionate, easily irritated, generous, he will acquire much 
property, his word will be much respected, he will prefer black 

^ An astrologer told Rai Dahir that victory would rest with his 
Arab opponents because Venus is behind them and before you. So 
Dahir had a golden image of Venus fastened to his saddle straps, so 
that the planet might be behind him, and give him victory. But 
Dahir was defeated and slain (EIliot-Dowson, i. 171). Before the 
battle of Kanwaha or Sikri, in a. d. 1527, in which Babur defeated the 
Rajputs under Rana Sanga, the astrologer told Babur that as Mars 
was seen every evening in the west, whoever marched in that direction 
would be defeated. When the prediction proved false the emperor 
rewarded the astrologer, but compelled him to leave the kingdom 
(Ferishta, ii. 54 f., 59). 

32 ISLAM IN INDIA • chap, ii 

and red clothes, be amorous, addicted to drinking, a scoffer, 
little famed for pious works, annually indisposed, his birth 
will be inauspicious to his parents, he will live long and outlive 
them both. The Dispositions of Venus : he will be fond of 
music and singing, and still more of dress and sweets, partial 
to sweet and dainty dishes, amorous, beautiful, accomplished, 
amiable, endeavouring to appear neat and well dressed, con- 
stantly trying to enrich himself at the expense of others, 
unwilling to disclose his own secrets, never without perfumes, 
harmonious in voice and a good singer, a pleasant speaker, of 
agreeable conversation, eloquent and charming to many, and 
he will support not only his parents but also his brothers and 
sisters. The Dispositions of Mercury : a man of wisdom and 
learning, a good scribe, versed in many sciences, a clever 
painter, blessed with a good memory, nay even a Hafiz, who 
knows the whole Koran by rote,^ a poet, wealthy, master of 
arts, his society and friendship profitable to many, never 
solitary, but surrounded by people obedient to his will, an 
arithmetician, of uncommon penetration, useful to any one 
to whom he is well disposed, but if he dislikes a person he will 
avoid even the sight of him. The Dispositions of the Moon : 
he will be a gambler, good-looking, a drunkard, a great traveller, 
addicted to falsehood, a gabbler, famous in the assemblies of 
the great, subject every half year to diseases due to debility 
and cold, dreading water, in danger of his life while travelling, 
a blessing to his parents and friends. The Dispositions of 
Saturn : of a swarthy, dark complexion, long lived, of thin 
habit of body, black eyes, a flatterer, of a bilious temperament, 
loud voiced, courageous and a brave soldier, good looking, 
of a hasty disposition, perverse, tyrannical, fond of chastising, 
unkind, liberal, capricious, detesting flattery, pure in mind, with- 
out malice, very forgetful. The Dispositions of Jupiter : his daily 
food will be ever abundant ; he will be good-looking, a Hafiz, 
a man of science, a judge, learned, a governor, a monarch, 
a Nawwab, distinguished in science and politics ; he will have 
many enemies, but will always overcome them ; none will be 
able to injure him ; in handicraft, drawing and penmanship he 

1 Aurangzeb and some ladies of the Mughal royal family knew the 
whole Koran by heart (Jadunath Sarkar, Life of Aurangzlh, i. 8) 

CHA-P. 11 BIRTH 33 

will be unrivalled ; sensible, a counsellor, charitable, firm in 
mind, of a delicate constitution, high-spirited, and extremely 
persevering in all undertakings. The Dispositions of Mars : 
he will be tyrannical, of a ruddy complexion, a quick talker, 
kind, easily irritated, fond of white dress and perfumes, skilled 
in many arts and sciences, earnest in the search of knowledge, 
inclined to deprive another of his money and to hoard it him- 
self, most ambitious. 

The name of the child is selected from the following list. 
If a boy is bo^n on the day or night of Sunday he is named 
Ibrahim, Abraham, Sulaiman, Solomon, Daiid, David, Musa, 
Moses, 'Ayub, Job, Hashim, ' bread-breaker \ Imran, ' long- 
lived '. If it be a girl she is called Hallma, ' gentle ', Habiba, 
' friend ', Zainab, ' fragrance ', Khadija, ' aborter '. If on 
a Monday, a boy is named Muhammad, 'greatly praised ', 
Alimad, 'most praised ', Mahmud, ' praised ', Qasim, ' divided ', 
Qadir, ' powerful '. If it be a girl she is called Fatima, ' weaner ', 
Amma, ' security ', Hamlda, ' praised ', Rafi'a, ' exalted ', 
Ruqia, 'enchanting', Zarina, 'golden". If on a Tuesday, 
a boy is named Isma'il, Ishmael, Ishaq, Isaac, Abu Bakr, 
' father of the maiden ', Ilias, Elias, Yasln, Pharaoh, while 
a girl is called Hanifa, ' a sincere Muslim ', 'Ayisha, ' life ', 
wife of the Prophet, Sharlfa, ' praised ', Saklna, Hebrew 
Shekinah, ' that which dwells '. If on a Wednesday, a boy is 
named 'Usman, ' serpent ', 'All, ' exalted ', Hariin, Aaron, 
Hasan, ' beautiful ', Husain, ' little beauty ', 'Umar, ' bought '. 
If a girl Rabi'T, ' vernal ', 'Aziza, ' excellent ', Jamlla, ' beauti- 
ful ', Fazila, ' excellent ', Najm, ' star ', Khurshed, ' sun ', 
Sitara, ' star '. If on Thursday, a son is called Yusuf, Joseph, 
Hamid, ' praised ', Mustafa, Murtaza, ' the chosen ', Sajjad, 
'bowing in adoration', Baqir, 'learned', 'Askari, 'soldier', 
Raza, ' content ', Ja'far, ' a stream ', Muhammad Ghaus, ' an 
ardent Saint '. If a girl, Maryam, Mary, Asya, ' running water ', 
Zulaikha', ' she that slipped ', the wife of Potiphar, Khairan, 
' happy ', Wajida, ' finder ', Wasila, ' beloved ', Ghafur, ' for- 
giving ', Ma'ruf, ' celebrated '. If on a Friday, a son 'Isa, 
Jesus, Anwar, ' resplendent ', Nur, ' bright ', Haidar, ' lion ', 
Akram, ' honour ', Adam, Adam, Sultan, ' monarch ', Habibu- 
llah, ' a friend of God ', Hafizu-llah, ' protected by God ', 


34 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ii 

Karlmu-Uah, ' blessed of God ', Rahmatu-Uah, 'mercy of God ', 
'Alimu-llah, ' learned in God ', Qudratu-llah, ' power of God ', 
'Abdu-llah, 'servant of God'. If a girl, Mah, 'beloved', 
Zohra, Venus, Malibuba, ' beloved ', Amira, ' princess ', 
Ratan, ' jewel ', Banu, ' lady ', Kiatun, ' lady ', Nissa, 
' woman ', Hawwa', ' Eve ', 'Arifa, ' pious ', Mama, ' mother '. 
If born on a Saturday, a boy is named 'Abdu-1-qadir, ' servant 
of the Almighty ', 'Abdu-1-karim, ' servant of the All Gracious ', 
'Abdu-1-razzaq, ' servant of the Bread Giver ', 'Abdu-1-wahhab, 
' servant of the All Bountiful ', 'Abdu-1-shakur, ' servant of the 
Rewarder ', 'Abdu-1-latif, ' servant of the All Gracious ', 
Shamsu-d-dm, ' Sun of the Faith ', Nizamu-d-din, ' ruler of the 
Faith ', Siraju-d-dln, ' Sun of the Faith ', Muharram, ' the 
tabooed, honoured ', Siddiq, ' he who speaks the truth '. 
If it is a girl, she is called Nazuk, ' delicate ', Ma'mula, 
' customary ', Latlfa, ' the gentle ', Bilqis, Queen of Sheba.^ 

Opprobrious names, implying degradation, disgust, im- 
purity, are often given by low-class Musalmans to their children 
as a means of baffling the Evil Eye or the danger from exag- 
gerated praise. Such are Nathu, 'nose-bored', Dukhl, 
' afflicted ', Gharib, ' poor ', Bhikhi, ' beggar ', Kaki, ' crow ', 
Kubra, ' hunchback ', 

1 The interpretation of some of these names is uncertain. The lists 
in Sir R. Temple, Proper Names of Punjabis, have generally been 



Patti, the parting of the mother's hair on both sides of the 
head, performed on the third day after the birth, a line being- 
left in the middle, is probably a magical method of freeing the 
woman from any internal obstruction. ^ The women assemble, 
perform the rite, dress mother and child in red, tie a handker- 
chief over the woman's head, hold a red canopy over their 
heads and apply lampblack and soot to the eyes of mother and 
child. They fill the mother's lap with cakes spiced with 
ginger {sonthand) and with betel. The guests apply turmeric to 
the mother's face, deposit their parting gifts (raktani, rukh- 
satana) and depart. Among the Shi'as of Lucknow on the 
fourth day the friends are invited to share in the family joy 
and there is a noisy feast.^ 

From the birth till the sixth day there is as much festivity as 
the family can afford. ChhathI, or the sixth day rite, should 
be done on that day, but it takes place more generally on 
the seventh or ninth. When many deaths have occurred in 
the house, in order to change the luck, they perform it on the 
third. The selection of the sixth is due to the fact that the 
occurrence of puerperal fever in the mother and tetanus in 
the child, the latter being due to infection during the slough- 
ing of the navel-cord and the lack of sanitary precautions, is 
generally noticed on the sixth or seventh day, and these 
maladies are naturally attributed to the dangerous spirit 
of the sixth, Chhathi or Satvai. The midwife smears the house 
floor with yellow or white clay or cowdung, and the women 
friends, men taking no part in the rite, send to the mother 

^ The parting of the hair of a pregnant woman is probably intended 
to secure easy delivery, but in other cases it may be a fertility charm, 
on the analogy of the plough passing through the furrow. It may be 
compared with the Hindu rite of Simantonnayana (EBE. iii. 471, ii. 650 ; 
Monier- Williams, Brahmamsm and Hinduism, 4th ed., 357). 

2 Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 212. 


36 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, hi 

soap-pods {sikakai, rithd, acacia concinna), used for cleansing 
the hair, gingeli or sesanium oil used in anointing the body 
before the Chiksa or perfumed powder is applied, with some 
lampblack, betel, and caudle. After the child has been bathed, 
a shirt (kurtd) made of any old article of dress worn by some 
ancient worthy is put on the child, in place of the pinafore 
worn up to that time, in order that he may reach old age. 
Should the midwife be an old woman she makes the shirt out 
of her own clothes. The first clothes of Akbar were made out 
of the garments of the holy man, Sayyid 'All Shirazi. On that 
day it is the custom to wear borrowed (prada, parad) clothes, 
which are provided by the washerman. 

Then the mother sits on a bed and she is bathed with a 
decoction of aromatic herbs and leaves, a gift is given to the 
midwife, the liver {kaleji) of a sheep is served with rice and 
pulse, a portion is sent to absent friends, and the night is 
spent in amusement. This rite is done for all children, not for 
the first alone. From the evening meal a plateful is laid aside 
with the object that when the child grows up he may not covet 
every kind of food he sees. Should he prove to be greedy, 
people say that his dish (bMndd) was not properly filled. In 
the centre of the dish a four-wicked lamp made of flour paste is 
sometimes lighted, friends drop a coin or two into it, and it is 
kept burning all night. This food is called ' the dish of the 
sixth ' {chhathl kd bhdndd) or ' the vigil ' {ratjaga), or by the 
vulgar ' Mother Sixth ' {Chhathl Md), because they suppose 
that Mother Sixth, the spirit which writes the fate of people, 
comes on that night and writes the child's destiny. Lower- 
class people keep the Chhathi rite, but the higher classes sub- 
stitute the 'Aqiqa for it. 

In north India on the Chhathl day female friends assemble, 
the mother bathes in warm water, and presents {chhuchak, 
a term also applied to the gifts which she receives after she 
visits her parents when the impurity period ends) are sent by 
her relations. When mother and child are dressed they come 
out of the delivery room {zachhd or zacM-kMna), she holding 
a Koran in her hands and keeping her eyes shut. When she 
comes out she opens her eyes and looks seven times at the sky. 
While she is out of the room a little boy is made to sit on her 


bed for a moment, a magical device to secure another boy, and 
before he goes out he demands a present. Then food made of 
seven kinds of grain (satnajci), often used in magic, is laid before 
the mother, but before she eats, seven women whose husbands 
are alive each take a mouthful from the dish. The wives of 
the family barber and gardener make wreaths of green leaves, 
which are hung on the houses of relations who give them a 
present .1 In the Pan jab during the first six days after the 
delivery the mother is never left alone. This, it is said, is done 
to prevent her from overlaying the child, but more probably 
to protect her from evil spirits, and a lamp is kept burning for 
the same reason all the time. Behmata or Bidhimata, ' Mother 
Fate ', is here the goddess who records the child's destiny at 
birth. It is a deadly sin to refuse fire to her when she asks for 
it, and a story is told of a Faqir who did so and was turned into 
a glow-worm, which ever carries fire behind it in its tail.^ The 
Brahui, as soon as a child is born, paint a mark in indigo on all 
the four walls of the house, so that no spirit may enter, while 
some strew leaves of the pipal or sacred fig tree about the 
house to keep off witches, and thrust a knife into the ground 
near the child's head. This must remain there for forty days, 
and if the mother happens during that time to go out of doors 
she must carry it with her as a protective.^ 

As among the Semites, the impurity of the mother lasts for 
forty days.* During that time she is not allowed to pray, 
touch the Koran, or enter a mosque. These taboos originally 
lasted as long as any issue of blood contiijued. In the Panjab 
she sits while she nurses her child, lest its nose may become 
deformed by pressing against her breasts.^ In south India on the 
fortieth as well as on the sixth, twelfth, and thirteenth days her 
friends bring gifts for the child, in particular amulets (ta'wiz) 
of gold or silver with verses of the Koran engraved on them 
which are hung over one shoulder, crossing the back and chest 
and reaching below the hip on the other side. This gift-giving 

1 NINQ. iii. 189. 

2 JEAI. xxxvii. 240. This is also a Jain belief, S. Stevenson, The 
Heart of Jainism, 193 f. ^ Bray, 16. 

* Frazer, GB., Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, 147 ff. ; Lev. xii. 1 ff. ; 
Exod. xxiv. 15 ; xxxiv. 26, &c. 
5 Man, ii. 40 f . 

38 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, hi 

in north India is usually done on the sixth day. In the Panjab, 
among people who do not seclude their women, when the child 
is one month and ten days old, the mother bathes, is dressed in 
new clothes, puts on her head a couple of jars filled with boiled 
grain, goes to the well and offers the food to the water Saint, 
Khwaja Khizr, after which she fills the jars with water and goes 
home.i In Gujarat little boats made of grass are taken to the 
nearest water and set afloat in the name of the Saint .2 In 
south India the fortieth day is spent in amusements. Hijras or 
eunuchs are paid to sing and dance, and they go about the 
town shouting ' Where is a son born ? '. If the child is a daughter 
they get little or nothing. If they are not paid they load the 
father with curses.^ In the evening male friends are feasted. 
The Fatiha is said over food in the name of Muhammad Mustafa 
the Chosen One — on whom be the Peace ! — and it is then served 
to the guests. Some people take the mother and baby into the 
open air and make her count a few stars, after which a couple 
of arrows used to be shot into the air. 

According to the Traditions the birth sacrifice is combined 
with the first shaving, the hair being left on the child's head 
till the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, twenty-eighth, or 
thirty-fifth day after birth, when it is shaved and its weight in 
silver is given in alms, as the Prophet did when a son was born 
to him in his old age.* In south India either on the sixth, 
fortieth, or other convenient day the 'Aqiqa ^ rite is done, two 
he-goats for a boy and one for a girl being sacrificed. The 
victim must be above a year old, perfect and without blemish 
(sahihu-l-a'zd), not blind of one or both eyes, or lame, and it 
must be so carefully skinned that no flesh remains on the hide, 
and the meat must be so cut up that no bone is broken.^ As 
it is difficult to separate the flesh from the smaller bones, they 
are boiled and dressed with the flesh, the guests are enjoined to 

' Rose, i. 565. This is a recognized Hindu practice. 

2 BG. ix, part 2, 158. 

^ The same custom prevails in north India, Rose, ii. 333. 

* Mishkat, ii. 515 ; Muir, Life, 412. 

° ''Aqiqa properly means the hair of the new-bom infant, but the term 
is applied by Metonymy to the shaving sacrifice. On tonsure see 
ERE. vi. 538. 

® Compare the Hebrew Passover rite, Exod. xii. 1-13. 


chew and swallow the smaller bones, and the meat is carefully 
removed from the larger bones without injuring them. The 
meat is well boiled, and served with various kinds of bread. 
With the offering the benediction is said : ' O Almighty God ! 
I offer in the stead of my son, life for life, blood for blood, 
head for head, bone for bone, hair for hair, and skin for skin. 
In the name of God I sacrifice this he-goat '. It is held merito- 
rious to distribute the meat to friends, but the person on whose 
account the offering is being made, his parents and his grand- 
parents, are forbidden to eat it. The bones, boiled or unboiled, 
skin, feet, and head are buried in the earth, and no one is 
allowed to use them. In Gujarat the 'Aqiqa is done on the 
seventh, fourteenth, or twenty-first day after birth, and the 
rite consists of two parts, the shaving of the child's head and 
the offering of the goats. The barber passes his razor over the 
child's head and draws a knife across the goats' throats with 
the invocation as recorded above. The parings of the child's 
hair and nails are laid on a flat half-baked cake and are thrown 
into a river. The bones are buried, the flesh and skin divided 
into three parts, one given in charity, one to friends, while 
the rest is eaten by the relatives, the parents and grand-parents 
being forbidden to share in it.^ 

In south India the Mundan or shaving follows the 'Aqiqa on 
some day after. Though most people combine these two rites, 
the poor observe only the latter, and the very poor combine the 
shaving with the ceremonies on the sixth and fortieth days. 
Those who can afford it have the shaving done with a silver- 
mounted razor and use a silver cup to hold the water, both 
being the perquisite of the barber, who receives other gifts. 
After the head is shaved, the rich rub it with saffron, the poor 
with sandalwood. The weight of the hair in silver is given to 
Faqirs, and the hair is tied up in cloth, buried or thrown into 
water. The rich, when disposing of the hair, make an offering 
to Khwaja Khizr and let the hair float away in a stream. 
Some leave a lock {chonti) uncut in the name of a Saint, and 
great care is taken that nothing pollutes it. Some postpone 

• BG. ix, part 2, 158. On the 'Aqiqa rite see Encyclopaedia Islam, 
1. 239 ; R. Smith, Religion of Semites, 239 ; Lane, AN. i. 277, ME. 
i. 67 ; NINQ. ii. 49 ; ill. 189 f. ; Rose, iii. 227 ; JBAI. xxxvii. 243. 

40 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, m 

the shaving till it can be done at the Dargah or shrine of the 
Saint. In Sind when the hair is shaved it is put with the bones 
of the victim offered at the ' Aqiqa rite and buried in a cemetery 
or at the threshold of the house, the common belief being that 
at the Day of Resurrection the contents of the skin will rise 
in the form of a horse and will carry the soul of the child 
over the bridge of death, Al-Sirat, into Paradise .^ The 
Baloch perform the first tonsure prior to circumcision 
at the shrine of the Saint Sakhi Sarwar, the weight of 
the hair in silver being given to the Mujawir or attendants 
of the shrine .2 

On the fortieth day, or before, the child is rocked in a swing- 
ing cradle {gahwarcl), a piece of magic to make the child grow 
taller as the swing goes higher.^ This is done in the evening, 
and women friends rub the legs of the cradle with sandalwood 
and decorate them with red thread. They put a coco-nut at 
each corner of the cradle with some gram cakes and betel laid 
on the ground, and while they sing a lullaby they scramble for 
the food. Then they sit up all night and amuse themselves 
with singing and dancing. 

Wlien the child is about four months old it often claps its 
hands, and it is said to be making sweetmeat balls (laddil 
bandhnd). These are provided, relations are invited, the 
Fatiha is said over them in the name of the Prophet — on whom 
be the Peace ! — and the party eat them. 

Wlien the child is seven months old, friends are invited, the 
Fatiha is said over a hasty pudding {firm) in the name of 
Muhammad Murtaza — on whom be the Peace ! They take 
with the forefinger a little pudding, rub it on the child's tongue 
and make him taste it. This may be regarded as the weaning, 
but according to the Traditions the child should be suckled for 
two and a half years, a period often extended to three or four. 
In Gujarat this rite is known as Botan {bota, ' a bit of meat ') 
or NamakchashI, ' salt-tasting ', for the father gives the child 
some rice and milk on a rui>ee and a bit of meat to suck. 
The Brahul wean a boy after a year and a half, a girl after two. 
They put seven dates in a pot and bid the child take as many 

1 Burton, Sindh, 259. ^ Rose, ii. 51 ; Bray, 25 f. 

3 Frazer, GB., The Dying God, 277 fi. 


as it pleases, the number marking the number of days it will 
trouble its mother for milk.^ 

The teething is called Dant nikalna, or Dant ghungnl, 
because when the first tooth appears they make a mess of 
stirabout (ghungnl) of grain boiled with sugar. After saying 
the Fatiha over this it is distributed. In north India the fate 
of the child is supposed to be bound up with that of its maternal 
uncle who officiates at the rite. A child who first shows 
a tooth in the upper jaw is unlucky. To avoid trouble, rice, 
copper coins, a piece of cloth, and four iron nails are put on 
a tray which is carried outside the limits of the village. The 
uncle drives the nails into the ground in the form of a square, 
and touching the child's tooth with the tray, leaves it within 
the square. The child is carried by his aunt, sister of his 
maternal uncle, who sits veiled and is not allowed to see what 
her brother is doing, while after the rite he goes home in silence. ^ 

A rite is done when the child begins to close its fists {niutthi 
bandhna) and to crawl (rengna). Parched rice (murmura) is 
made into balls which are given to friends, and the night is 
spent in singing and dancing. Among the Brahiii, when a child 
begins to toddle they throw a little loaf among the assembled 
friends, and the child is told to pick it up. When he does this 
a bit of it is given to each guest, and there is a feast. ^ In the 
case of Akbar the Turk! custom was observed, that when a 
child begins to crawl, the father, grandfather, or whoever 
represents him takes off his turban and strikes the child with 
it so as to make him fall. This is said to be as good as the 
herb of grace (ispand, sipand, Lawsonia inermis) to protect 
him from the Evil Eye.* 

Wlien a girl is a year or two old her ears are bored. This is 
done by the goldsmith or barber, into whose lap two coco-nut 
kernels (khoprd) are put, and his neck is smeared with sandal- 
wood. By degrees other holes are bored along the whole edge 

^ Bray, 24 f . On the ceremonial feeding of the child see R. Smith, 
Kinship, 154 ; Crawley, 136. Compare the Hindu rite of Annaprasana, 
Monier-WiUiams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 4th ed., 358 f. 

^ Man, ii. 60. For similar Hindu rites at teething see Thurston, 
Cas'.es, vii. 73 ; BG. xv, part 1, 218 ; Russell, iii. 300. 

3 Bray, 24. 

« Smith, Akhar, 21. 

42 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, hi 

of the ear, and even in the centre part, till by the time the girl 
is two or three years old she has thirteen holes in the right and 
twelve in the lef i;. Some people bore a hole in each lobe, in the 
part projecting over the orifice, one above it and a few others 
here and there, but in the Deccan most people think it vulgar 
to bore holes uniformly all round the edge, as that is the 
custom of the lower castes.^ 

1 On the protective influence of ear-boring see Frazer, Folklore OT., 
iii. 165 ff. For the Hindu rite, Dubois, 159: Censits 'Report, 1911, 
Bengal, i. 448 ; Kashmir, i. 144 ; Central Provinces, i. 157. 



The rite of initiation, Bi'smillah, ' pronouncing the name of 
God '/ is observed when a boy or girl has reached the age of 
four years four months and four days. In the case of girls the 
plaiting of the side locks {palgundhan, pahlugundhmi) is done 
for the first time at this rite. Strings of black silk are plaited 
into the long hair, the braids or plaits must be uneven in number, 
and women swear by them as men do by their beards. ^ During 
two or three days before the rite, the child is dressed from head 
to foot in yellow clothes, Chiksa or scented powder is rubbed on 
his body by women whose husbands are alive (suhdgan), and 
he is seated in a room with a canopy over his head, and 
coloured clothes hung round to resemble a throne. Every 
morning and evening while he is being massaged, musicians play 
and the child is not allowed to walk about. This part of the 
rite is called in south India ' sitting in state ' {manjd, manjhd 
baithnd).^ The day before the ceremony the lady guests are 
invited by sending round cardamoms to their houses, and 
other friends by letter in the following form : ' To such a one, 
the obliger of friends^ greeting ! At this poor man's house his 
son (or daughter, as the case may be) is this evening to be 
taught to repeat the name of God {Bf smilldh-khwam). 
I beg that you by joining the party will grace the assembly 
with your presence and joyfully partake of something. For 
by so doing you will afford me peculiar pleasure '. Then the 
men and women meet apart. The child having been well 
bathed in the afternoon, and all the perfumed paste removed 
from his body, his yellow dress is exchanged for better garments, 
red or white, made of various kinds of brocade or other stuffs. 
Gold or silver amulets, which some of the friends may have 

1 ERE. ii. 666 ff. 

2 Burton, AN. iii. 93 ; Lane, 3IE. i. 55. 

^ Manjd, manjhd, a large couch, is used by the Sikhs as a technical 
term foi; a diocese allotted by Guru Amar Das to his disciples, Rose, i. 681. 

44 ISLAM IN INDIA chai', iv 

given, are hung on his neck, and he is perfumed. Garlands of 
flowers are hung round his neck and wrists and a wreath made 
of gold wire (sehard, sehrd) over his forehead. Thus bedecked, 
he is seated in the presence of his family tutor or some Mashaikh 
or venerable personage. Near them are placed trays with 
sweetmeats, two of the largest balls having gold or silver 
paper pasted over them, with other gifts including a small 
gold or silver plate and a pen and inkstand intended as gifts 
for the tutor. He, after reciting the Fatiha over the food in 
the name of the Prophet — on whom be the Peace ! — writes 
on a plate with his pen dipped in sandalwood the words ' In 
the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate ! ' and orders 
the child to lick it off. He lays the two ornamented sweet balls 
in the child's hands to tempt him to perform his task. It is 
also the rule to write the first chapter of the Koran on red 
paper, but those who can afford it write this on a gold or silver 
plate, and giving it to the boy or girl require him or her to 
repeat first the words 'In the name of God, the Merciful, the 
Compassionate ! ' and afterwards from the ninety-sixth 
chapter the opening words : ' Recite thou in the name of the 
Lord who created, created man from clots of blood ! Recite 
thou ! For thy Lord is most beneficent, who has taught the 
use of the pen, hath taught that thou knowest not ! ' This being 
the first sentence of the Koran revealed to the Prophet — on 
whom be the Blessing ! — it is considered of high value, and is 
taught to children. In north India the words of the blessing 
are engraved on a small silver tablet which the child, after 
repeating the words, hands to the old man after whom he has 
said them.i Presents are then made to the tutor, and the 
child rises from his seat, salutes his tutor, and the friends 
present who give him presents. Then the sweets over which 
the Fatiha has been said are placed on the Dastarkliwan or 
dining cloth, and with other food are served to the guests. 
Next day the lady guests are sent home in litters after the 
host has given them presents. After this the boy is sent to 
school. In Gujarat the boy is sent to visit the shrine of the 
family Saint, and when he returns the women surround him 
and each strives to be the first to take his troubles upon herself 

' NINQ. iii. 192. 


(balden lemi) by passing her hands over him from head to foot, 
and then pressing against his temples her knuckles and finger- 
tips till they crack.^ 

The mode of sending invitations to guests to attend family 
rites is of great importance. In the Deccan and south India 
female guests receive invitations (da^wat) to attend these 
and other rites by the sending of cardamoms (ilacM), while 
men are generally invited by letter. When ladies are invited, 
some woman who is in the habit of going about the bazars and 
lanes of the town or city is employed as a messenger. She is 
decked in her best clothes, and, accompanied by musicians, she 
starts with a plate in her hand containing sandalwood, packets 
of betel-leaf and areca nut, with sugar candy and cardamoms 
wrapped in red paper, a packet for each guest. She approaches 
the lady with much respect, and making a salutation she delivers 
the message in these terms : ' Such and such a lady (naming her) 
sends her best compliments and embraces to you, and informs 
you that tomorrow there will be a little gaiety at her house. 
She wishes all her lady friends by their presence to grace and 
ornament with their feet the house of this poor person, and 
thereby to make it a garden of roses. So you must certainly 
come, and by remaining a couple of hours honour her humble 
abode by your company '. Should the lady accept the invita- 
tion, the bearer of the cardamoms rubs a little sandalwood 
paste on her neck, breast, and back, and puts her share of the 
sugar candy and cardamoms into her mouth, or these things 
are handed to her with the packet of betel-leaves. If the 
lady declines the invitation, sandalwood alone is applied, and 
a packet of betel without any of the cardamoms and sugar 
candy is handed to her. When the messenger has finished the 
round of visits and announced the names of those who have 

* BO. ix, part 2, 160. Among the Bannuchi some old women 
wave three red chillies several times round the head of a person troubled 
by evil spirits, each time saying, ' Herewith I draw off the eye, be it 
man's, woman's, or spirits.' Then each pepper-pod is put into the 
fire (Thorbum, 161). Cf. ERE. iii. 447. Compare the Hindu Arti, or 
waving rite (Manucci, iii. 340). When the Emperor Shahjahan was 
sick, his daughter liberated several slaves, made them walk round her 
father, and then sent them away to carry his infirmities with them 
(Ibid. i. 217. Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 215). 

46 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, iv 

accepted the invitation of her employer, next day a litter 
(doll), accompanied by a maid-servant, is sent to fetch each 
guest. If the lady of the house be poor, she merely sends her 
own maid-servant to escort the guests to her house a little 
before daybreak. 

When they arrive the hostess advances to the gate to 
welcome them, takes them by the hand, and leading them 
into the house seats them on the carpet. On other less impor- 
tant occasions invitations are sent by a messenger, but she is 
not attended with music and does not carry sugar candy, 
cardamoms, or betel-leaf. 

When guests attend such rites they are expected to bring 
presents (neotd, manjd) with them proportionate in value to 
the nature of the rite and their own means. At the Chhathi 
and Chilla rites, already described, the gifts consist generally of 
a necklace (hansli), ankle-rings (hard), a cap (topi), a sheet 
(sari), a bodice (choli), betel-leaves, areca nut, flowers, and 
sandalwood. At the Bi'smillah rite for children they bring 
a small gold or silver plate weighing eight annas, or half a 
rupee (a rupee = 1 told, 179 grains), hung on a red thread 
together with sufficient velvet to make a bodice, betel, flowers, 
sandalwood, and sweetmeats. For a wedding the. gift consists 
of a shawl, a piece of muslin, a sheet, a turban, a bodice, betel, 
some choice delicacy, cakes (malidd), sweetmeats, or merely 
betel with plantains, and coco-nuts. The guests bring these 
things in person, or in the case of great people they are brought 
by the men guests with great pomp and state. Poor people 
give at least a velvet bodice, sweetmeats, betel, flowers, and 
sandalwood, according to their means. If they have brought 
no gift in kind they are expected to put a rupee or two or less 
into the hand of the child or of the mistress of the house. 

The anniversary of the birthday is celebrated with great 
rejoicing, relatives being entertained, and the Fatiha said over 
the food in the name of the Prophet and Father Niili or Noah — 
on whom be the Peace ! — so that the child may attain the age 
of the patriarch. Then some old woman ties a knot in a red or 
yellow thread, known as the Salgirah or ' year knot ', or by 
converts from Hinduism Janamganth or ' birth knot '. The 
mother keeps the string and produces it at each of the boy's 


birthdays. A girl's years are counted by a silver loop or ring 
being added yearly to her GardanI or silver neck-ring. The 
occasion is marked by feasting and rejoicings. The practice 
is believed to have been borrowed from the Hindus, and Akbar 
is said to have adopted it from the Hindu ladies of his Zanana. 
On his birthday Akbar was weighed against gold and other 
valuables, the proceeds of which were given to the poor, while 
in the time of Aurangzeb a yellow cord was used for princes 
and princesses.^ The Author, Ja'far Sharif, remarks that on 
such occasions in southern India drinking is not uncommon ; 
' though in public women, as well as men, drink only water, 
sherbet, or milk, it is not uncommon for them in private to 
take strong drink, although it is prohibited in the Koran, 
excusing themselves by saying that there is no harm in the use 
of the juice of a fruit, meaning the grape '.^ 

1 Ain, i. 267 ; EUiot-Dowson, v. 307 ; Manucci, ii. 346. 
^ On this distinction see Lane, ME. i. 118. 



Circumcision {khatna, sunnat, in Sind sathra, toharu) should 
be performed between the ages of seven and twelve or four- 
teen, but it is lawful to do it seven days after birth .^ Akbar 
prohibited the rite before the age of twelve, and it was then to 
be optional with the boy.^ 

On the appointed day friends are invited and entertained. 
For a few days before the rite the boy is rubbed with Haldi 
or turmeric and made to sit in state (known in south India as 
manja baithnd) . He is dressed in red or yellow clothes, decorated 
with flowers, and Missi or dentifrice is rubbed on his teeth, this 
being the only occasion on which males use it. He is then 
carried in procession round the town. Others postpone the 
dinner and the procession till after the operation. The boy 
is seated on a large new earthen pot inverted, or on a chair 
with a red handkerchief spread over it . A couple of hours before 
he has been dosed with the electuary known as Ma'jun, made 
from hemp and used as an anodyne. Some friends hold the 
boy firmly and the barber performs the operation with a sharp 
razor. When it is over the boy is told to call out three times 
' Din ', ' The Faith '. To divert his attention he is made to 
slap the operator for causing him so much pain. One of the 
relatives chews betel and squirts the red spittle on the wound 
to make him believe that there has been no flow of blood. 
While the operation is in progress the Brahiil mother puts 
a handmill on her head, a kinswoman a Koran, and they 
stand facing west and praying till all is over ; in the Marl 

* The meaning of the rite is still obscure. For various explanations 
see Frazer, GB., The Magic Art, i. 96 ; Folklore OT. ii. 330 ; ERE. iii. 
659 ; ix. 826 ; Hastings, Diet. Bible, v. 622 ; Crawley, 138, 309. On 
mock circumcision, Thurston, Castes, ii. 120 ; Man, xv. 65. On the 
Musalman ritual, ERE. iii. 677 ff. ; Burton, AN. iv. 163 ; BG ix, 
part 2, 160 f. 

2 Aln, i. 207. 


tribe the mother stands in the centre of a group of singing 
women ha\ang in her hands an upper millstone over which are 
sprinkled red earth and rice, and on these an iron ring, a green 
bead, and a piece of red cloth, all tied together with a red 
string apparently symbolical of virility.^ In Sind, while the 
mother holds a stone on her head, a male relation pours water 
upon it, and sometimes instead of the mother, the father stands 
with his feet in water and holds a Koran on his head.^ Care 
is taken of the severed foreskin, lest a witch may work evil 
magic by means of it. Pathans on the north-west frontier bury 
it in a damp part of the house where the water jars are kept, 
possibly in the hope that it may grow and increase the virility 
of the boy. In other parts of the Panjab it is buried, thrown 
on the house roof, or attached to it by "a straw ; in Delhi it is 
tied with a peacock's feather to the boy's left foot, so that no 
evil shadow may fall upon him and injure him. Some 
Brahms bury it under a green tree so that the lad may be 
fruitful in generation, or they bury it in damp earth, thinking 
to cool the burning pain of the wound.^ 

After the operation the barber applies a dressing, and the 
wound heals in the course of a week or so. While the rite is 
being done, some rice and other gifts are laid close by which are 
given to the barber, but if the boy was seated on a chair this 
is not given away. In Sind the father places the fee under the 
lad's right foot and the friends wave money, which the barber 
receives, over the boy's head, or he puts his brass saucer in the 
room and people drop money into it.* 

Some people never have a boy circumcised alone, but always 
with another to make the number equal, because the operation 
involves taboo. Hence when they have one or three boys to 
undergo the rite, they get some poor woman's son to be circum- 
cised with them. If they fail to find such a boy they substitute 
for him a Badhna, or water-pot with a spout, in the mouth of 
which a packet of betel is placed and cut by the barber. They 
think it favourable if the boy during the operation makes 
water, as this clears the urethra. They guard the boy against 

^ Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 60 f. - Aitken, 209. 

» JEAI. xxxvii. 255 ; Bray, 30 ; Rose, i. 778 ff. ; iii. 228. 
^ Aitken, 209 ; NINQ. iii. 192. 


50 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, v 

contact with dogs or cats and from other defilements, such as 
that of a woman in her courses. Ants are kept away by 
spreading ashes round the bed, or by placing the legs of it in 
stone pots filled with water. They tie a peacock's feather, 
a copper ring (chhalld) with a blue thread to the wrist, neck, or 
ankle of the lad, and they burn Ispand or herb of grace as a 

Female circumcision, or clitorodectomy, prevails among 
some tribes in the Pan jab and on the north-west frontier and 
probably extends more widely, but from the nature of the case, 
it is difficult to procure evidence. Some Musalman Jats 
remove the tip of the clitoris, not with the idea of promoting 
chastity, but as a religious act.^ The Brahul circumcise 
a woman to remove the curse of barrenness, and the custom 
prevails in the Bahawalpur State and among the Marl of 
Baluchistan. 2 The authenticity of a tradition allowing it has 
been disputed. The custom seems to have spread eastwards 
from Egypt and the Sudan. ^ 

1 PNQ. i. 86. On this rite see Lane, 3IE. i. 73 ; Burton, AN. iv. 228, 
Pilgrimage, ii. 20 ; Ma7i, xiii. 137 ff. ; xv. 66 ; in Africa, JllAI. xxxii. 
309 ; xxxiii. 351 ; xxxiv. 169, 265 ; ERE. ii. 223 ; iii. 667 ff. 

2 Bray, 2f; Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 61, 107. The 
Kehal tribe in the Panjab circumcise a young wife if she does not con- 
ceive within six months after marriage. Rose, ii. 487. 

3 JRAI. xliii. 639 ff. 



In Baluchistan a boy is given trousers at the age of three , 
a girl between two and four. On the falling of the first tooth 
the child's mouth is washed with salt and bitter oil, that the 
new tooth may be white and shapely. He is made to jump out 
of doors, shouting ' O crow ! Thy teeth are black ! Look, mine 
are bright ! O crow ! Thy teeth are crooked, mine aright ! ' ^ 

After a boy or girl has finished the reading of the Koran 
from end to end, a propitious day is fixed, according to the 
system used in selecting names, for the purpose of making 
gifts to the tutor and exhibiting the child's skill in reading. 
The friends are invited, and the boy now able to read the Koran 
{qur^ an-khwan), dressed in his best, is seated in the men's hall 
with the Koran in his hands. A robe of honour (khirat) and 
other gifts are set out for the tutor, and the boy is made to 
read the first, part of the second, the thirty-sixth, and the 
fifty-fifth chapters. The tutor then recites the Fatiha over the 
food in the name of the Prophet — the Blessing ! — and makes 
the boy breathe on it. After the blessing he says ' I forgive 
all the trouble I have undergone in teaching the sacred Koran, 
and I freely bestow on thee the knowledge which I have 
taught thee ! ' Then the food which has become sacred by 
having the whole contents of the Koran blown upon it is dis- 
tributed, and the gifts are given to the tutor.^ 

Besides this ceremony, at every feast, marriage, or dinner the 
tutor receives his dues. He is honoured, says Ja'far Sharif, as 
a father, because a man is said to have four fathers : his 

* Bray, 31 f. Hindus, when a child's teeth fall out, throw them on 
the house roof, which is infested by rats and mice, in the hope that the 
new teeth will be as white and shapely as those possessed by these 

^ When Humayun was about to invade India, he sent for his son 
Akbar, read some verses of the Koran, and at the end of each verse 
blew upon the boy (Smith, Akbar. 28). For Christian examples of 
blowing upon a person as a means of communicating afflatus, see EB. 
vi. 976. 

E 2 

52 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, vi 

natural father, his tutor, his father-in-law, and his Murshid or 
spiritual guide. Besides this, the Prophet has assured us that 
if any person in his daily prayers says the Du'a-i-ma'sur, or 
prayer for the remission of sins, for his parents and his tutor, 
the Almighty will hear and answer. For children who go to 
school the master usually writes the 'Idi or ' feast verse ', or 
a blessing on the child, on paper sprinkled with gold dust {zar-i- 
fisMn), and desires him to read it to his parents, who send an 
' Idi, or feast gift, in return. Such presents are made at four 
festivals, the Akliiri-char-shamba, the Shab-i-barat, the 
Ramazan, and the Baqar 'Id. In Musalman schools in north 
India the pupils on the eve of the Friday holiday bring lamp- 
money {charaghl, chiraghi) for the teacher, a term also used for 
money spent in lighting a lamp on a Saint's tomb, or the per- 
centage taken by the owner of a gambling-house .^ 

There are thirty sections {juz, sipara) in the Koran, and at the 
beginning and end of each of these it is usual to give a present 
to the tutor, this gift being known as Hadlya. Of these there 
are four principal occasions : at the end of a quarter, half, 
three quarters, or the whole Koran, of which the last is most 
important. Besides this, when a boy begins a new book it 
is usual to give a present, sweetmeats, betel, and money. The 
tutor recites the Fatiha over these, rubs sandalwood on the boy's 
neck and sometimes on his own, or taking them in his hand 
smells them, repeats the Durud or blessing, hears the lessons, 
and then gives a half -holiday. If the number of boys be great, 
and so it would be necessary to give a half-holiday for each, he 
puts off the Fatiha till a Thursday, the usual half -holiday, and 
deals with the gifts of two or more boys at the same time. 

In short, every opportunity is taken to compliment the 
tutor, for a blessing from his auspicious lips is as good as the 
reading of a hundred books, and if his curse rests on any one 
the reading of a hundred books will be of little profit ; nay, 
he is equal to, if not greater than one's father or mother, 
inasmuch as he teaches the Law and the writings of God and His 
Messenger, and explains the doctrines of the Faith. While 
his natural parents nourish the body of their son with temporal 
food, he provides that which is spiritual. 

> NINQ. V. 178. 



When a girl menstruates for the first time she is said to be 
' grown up ' (hdligh hond), ' to have her head dirty for the 
first time ' {pahle sir maild hond), owing to the prohibition 
against batliing during this period, or ' to mix with those who 
are grown up ' {baron men milnd). The illness at the lunar 
periods is expressed by ' the approach of the menses ' {haiz 
and), ' the arrival of the season for bathing ' {nihdnl dnd), 
' the head becoming dirty ' {sir maild hond), ' becoming unfit 
for prayers ' {benam^zi dnd), or ' to become unclean ' {ndpdk 
hond). Among Musalman girls the time of puberty is from ten 
to fourteen, generally about twelve, and the function continues 
till the fortieth, or in some cases the forty-fifth year.^ Among 
women in south Gujarat a ceremony known as 'donning the 
scarf {orhni urdnd) is performed secretly when a girl reaches 
womanhood .^ Baloch mothers press their daughters' breasts and 
rub them with ashes and salt to prevent them from swelling or 
holding milk, and when menstruation occurs for the first time 
the mother takes three small stones, arranges them on the 
ground in the form of a triangle, and bids the girl leap over 
them thrice, in order that the menses may not last more than 
three days, the furthest limit being five or six days.^ At 
a girl's first menstruation in the Deccan seven or nine married 
women of the house and neighbourhood meet in the afternoon 
and each of them rubs a little perfumed powder {chiksd) on the 
girl's body, puts a couple of garlands of flowers round her neck 
and anoints her with fragrant oil {phulel kd tel). After this she 
is confined in a private room and the women go home after 
spending a little time in music. For seven days the girl is kept 
shut up in this room, she is not allowed to go out, to do any 

1 Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 185 ; N. Cheevers, Medical Jurisprudence in 
India, 671. 

2 BG. ix, part 2, 162. =< Bray, 32 f. 

54 JSLAM in INDIA chap, vii 

sort of work, or to bathe. During this time her diet consists 
of rice boiled with pulse (khichari), fish, flesh, salt, and acid 
foods being prohibited. On the seventh day she is bathed. 
The married women, as before, assemble in the moaning, 
hold a red cloth over her head as a canopy, take a small water 
vessel with a spout (badhni), either plain or decorated with 
paint, fasten a packet of betel-leaves with a red thread to the 
neck of the pot, drop into it four or five fruits of the two kinds 
of myrobalan, and each woman pours water from it twice over 
the girl's head. Before the women do this their laps are filled 
with cakes and betel, and sandalwood is rubbed on their necks. 
On that evening a feast is given, and the girl is adorned with 
glass bangles and dressed in her best. They keep vigil during 
the night to guard against evil spirits. If the girl be already 
married and consummation has not yet taken place, which is 
more than probable as Musalmans object to infant marriage, 
her husband, leaving the party to enjoy themselves, takes his 
bride home and consummates the marriage. On this occasion 
he is usually given a present of clothes, and the pair are 
wreathed with flowers. But it is only the lower classes who 
make this public, and more respectable people do not announce 
the event. 

When a boy on arriving at his twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, 
or fifteenth year, or as some say, at the age of eighteen, ex- 
periences a pollutio nocturna,'^ he must conform to the duties 
of his religion as regards prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and 
pilgrimage. This is also the rule for girls. Previous to this 
period, that is, during childhood, all their good and evil deeds 
are laid to the charge of their parents, but after this they are 
responsible for their own actions. When the youth is overtaken 
with pollutio in somno he must perform the Ghusl or major 
ablution by bathing on the following morning, for until he has 
purified himself in this way it is unlawful for him to eat, pray, 
touch the Koran, or go to the mosque. These rules also extend 
to other ablutions, of which there arc four : after pollutio 
nocturna {ihiilam), which was abrogated by Akbar ; ^ after 
coitus (jima') ; ^ after menses (haiz) ; after puerperium {nifds). 
The period to which the first and second bathing may be 

> Cf. Deut. xxiii. 10-11. - Ain, i. 194. ^ Burton, AN. iii. 359. 


deferred is nine or ten next morning ; the last should be de- 
ferred till the discharge has ceased, but some ignorant 
women have fixed it for the fortieth day after childbed. The 
bathing is done thus : After slightly wetting the body and 
reciting some short prayers appointed for this purpose, the boy 
gargles his throat three times, then he bathes, thoroughly 
wetting his whole body and uttering the following sentences 
in Arabic : ' I desire by the ablution to purify my body for 
prayer and to remove all inward filth and corruption '. Some 
ignorant or vulgar people first throw three pots of water on the 
head, then three on the right shoulder, then three on the left, 
and having taken a little water in the hand, either after or 
without reciting the Durud or blessing, they sprinkle it on the 
clothes which are thus purified. In the complete ablution the 
water must be pure and not less than a certain quantity, and 
it must touch every part of the skin beginning with the right 
side of the person and ending with the left. Hence among 
Arabs a plunge bath is generally preferred.^ 

1 Ibid. iv. 153. Properly speaking, it should be done in running water, 
and hence Musulmans use a vessel with a spout (badhnd) for the purpose. 



Marriage is enjoined on every Musalman, and celibacy was 
condemned by the Prophet, but it is often enforced by poverty 
or other causes. The proportions of the married and unmarried 
among Musalmans differ from those of the Hindus. Among 
Musalmans ' the proportion of the unmarried is larger and that 
of the married and widowed smaller. Of every 100 males 53 
are unmarried, 43 married, and 4 widowed, while of the same 
number of females 38 are unmarried, 47 married, and 15 
widowed. The difference is most notable amongst the young 
of both sexes. Under the age of 5 the proportion of Muham- 
madan girls who are married is not much more than a quarter 
of the corresponding figure for Hindus, and between 5 and 10 
it is only a half. It is not till the age period 15-20 that an 
equality between the proportions is reached, while above that 
age the relative number of females who are married is greater 
amongst Muhammadans than amongst Hindus. The Muham- 
madans have fewer widows at all ages, but the difference is 
most marked in the prime of life. This is owing to the fact that 
women who lose their first husbands while still capable of 
bearing children have less difficulty than their Hindu sisters 
in marrying a second time . A prejudice against widow marriage 
exists, however, amongst many classes of Muhammadans, 
especially those who are descended from local converts '.^ 

The prohibited degrees include : consanguinity — mother, 
grandmother, sister, niece, aunt, &c. ; affinity — mother-in-law, 
step-daughters, grand-daughters, &c. ; fosterage ; with the 
wife's sister during the lifetime of the wife, unless she is 
divorced ; of the wife of another until the period of probation 
Ciddat) has expired, three months after divorce, four months 
ten days after widowhood ; with polytheists, who do not 
include Jews or Christians.^ 

1 Census Report, India, 1911, i. 266. 
"' See ERE. vii. 866 ; Lane, ME. i. 123. 


' It is considered desirable that a man should take as his 
first wife a virgin bride of the same social standing as himself, 
and preferably of the same division or tribe. As regards sub- 
sequent wives there is no restriction whatever. There are no 
exogamous groups ; the marriage of persons more nearly 
related is forbidden, but that of first cousins, whether the 
children of brothers or sisters, is considered very suitable ; 
failing them, an alliance is preferred with some family with 
which there have already been marriage relations ; it is 
sometimes said that the object of cousin marriage is to keep 
the family as free as possible from foreign blood, and to retain 
in the family the property inherited by the young couple '.^ 

Marriage is usually by dower or settlement {mahr, sadqa, 
nuhl), the latter ' not the exchange or consideration given by 
the man to the woman for entering into the contract, but 
imposed by law on the husband as a token of respect for its 
subject, the woman '.^ Marriage by purchase is not common, 
but Khojas in Gujarat practise the custom, the father of the 
bridegroom paying 5J rupees to the father of the bride, the 
amount being given over to the Jama'atkhana or assembly 
lodge of the caste, and it is the rule among the Arabs. ^ In 
some cases, as among the Brahiil, the wives of two brothers 
being pregnant promise to wed son to daughter, if such be born.* 
Temporary marriages {muta\ sigha, nikdh-i-muwaqqat), con- 
tracted for a limited period, are recognized by Shi'as, a practice 
which has done much to demoralize the community. They 
were forbidden, but subsequently in part sanctioned by the 
Prophet.^ The term marriage by capture has sometimes been 

' Census Report, India, 1911, i. 252; Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 84. 
The rules depend not on biological, but on social considerations, ERE. 
iv. 30 ; viii. 425 f. On cross-cousin marriage see Rivers, JRAS. 1897, 
pp. 64 ff. ; Frazer, Folklore in OT. ii. 99 ff. 

■' Baillie, 91 ; ERE. v. 743 ; vii. 865 f. 

^ BG. ix, part 2, 45 ; Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 111. 

^ Bray, 11 ; Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 103. 

= Koran, iv. 28 ; Mishkat, ii. 88, 90; Aln, i. 174 ; Sell, 84 ; Browne, 
A Year, 462 ; Ibn Khallikan, iv. 37 ; Hartland, Primitive Paternity, 
ii. 6; ERE. iii. 815. Firoz Shah Bahmani (a.d. 1397-1422) raised 
a controversy on the slibject, the Sunni divines denying its legality, the 
Shi'as maintaining that it was allowed in the time of the Prophet and 
of his first Khalifa, and that, though it was abrogated by the second 

58 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

rather loosely applied to those cases where a real or pretended 
opposition is made by the friends of the bride when the bride- 
groom comes to fetch her home. Instances of this practice 
are found among Pathans, Khattaks, and Wazlrls ; among the 
last named tribe swords are brandished and injury occasionally 
results, and in the Delhi royal family it was the rule to make 
a mock resistance when the bridegroom came to take his 
bride home.^ The custom seems to be occasionally based upon 
the belief that a mock fight is a means of repelling evil spirits .^ 

Wlien a man wishes to marry, he sends for three or four 
women who act as go-betweens, whom he deputes to search for 
a bride, beautiful, eligible, clever, accomplished, rich ; and he 
promises a reward in case they are successful. Special regard 
is paid to birth, position, and individual eligibility. Widows 
are to be avoided, and four points are to be sought : her 
stature should be less than that of her husband ; she should 
be younger ; possess less property ; be inferior in rank and 
station. The best complexion is dark with black hair, indica- 
ting modesty and virtue ; a red pallid skin is to be avoided 
as it indicates a choleric, sensual temperanient.^ These match- 
makers go about selling trifles and gossiping in families, by 
which means they come to know the girls and are able to 
report about them. If the girl belongs to the family of a friend 
or acquaintance go-betweens are not required, the negotiations 
being conducted by the senior ladies of both houses. 

According to the Law a boy should be married at puberty, 
a girl at the age of twelve. In Sind it is fixed at fifteen for 
males and twelve for girls ; in Gujarat between sixteen and 
twenty-two for men, ten to fifteen for girls ; in north India 
eighteen for youths, thirteen or fourteen for girls.* Akbar 
forbade boys under sixteen and girls under fourteen to marry .^ 

When the family connexions, pedigree, religion, and customs 

Khalifa, it was still legal. The king accepted the reasoning of the 
Shl'as, and received into his harem three hundred women in one day 
(Ferishta, ii. 364f.). 

1 Rose, ii. 531 ; iii. 228 ; [F. Parks], Wandemvgs of a Pilgrim, i. 436 f. 

" E. Westermarck, Hintory of Human Marriage, 383 ff. ; Crawley, 290 ff. 

^ Burton, Siiidh, 159 f. 

* Mishkal, ii. 86 ; Lane, AN. i. 281 ; Burton, Sindh, 260 ; BG. ix, 
part 2, 162 ; Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 184. « Ain, i. 195. 


are found to correspond, and the parties consent to the union, 
astrologers are consulted to predict their destiny, good or bad. 
For this purpose a few persons in company with astrologers and 
MuUas, or men of understanding, meet and have the horoscopes 
of the pair cast. For instance, if a person's name begins with 
any of the following seven letters of the Arabic alphabet, the 
elements of his temperament will be as follows : Earth, 
be, xmw, ye, swdd, te, zwdd, nun ; Water, zal, he, lam, ''ain, 
re, khe, ghain ; Air, jlm, ze, qdf, se, zde ; Fire, alif, he, toe, 
sin, ddl. Other astrologers refer to the following table to ascer- 
tain by the initial of the person's name his constitutional 



























sj" a 





icS ,C! 




rc3 l<l5 


































.3 cS 

•^ a 

I § 












•a £ 



S t-3 In OQ 

N 02 

cS s- 

2 ft 

a 1-5 





1 a 


•2 J 





'■^ 2 

-« a 











cS [ 

.2 ts 









'C ^ 




















.3 ^ 

CO 02 










H H 


3 ^ 







3 o 



,3 U 


ccS =0 

3 3 


2. a 

cS cS 



+i _ 

!h cS 

i/2 O 

"^ 3 

§ .2 



CO >" 





,2 =8 





^ 02 

-^ 02 

-^ -S i2 -^ 


In order to ascertain the fate of the couple, the following 
plan is adopted : In the first place, it must be ascertained by 
reference to this table to which of the elements. Fire, Air, 
Earth, Water, the initials of the parties correspond, and if 
these elements agree it is concluded they will harmonize. Thus, 
if a man's name be Ja'far, his initial being J, and his tempera- 
ment Earth, and the girl's name be Banu BIbi, her initial being 
B and her temperament also Earth, these agreeing, it is held 
that they will live happily together. In detail, if the tempera- 
ment of both be Earth, they will for the most part agree, but 
not always. If it be Water, they will agree for a time, but 
their love will soon decrease. If it be Air, they will be inclined 
to quarrel, but will be ready to make up their differences. 
If Fire, though quarrels will occur between them, they will 
not last long. If the temperament of a husband be Earth, and 
that of his wife Water they will agree and live amicably, the 
women being obedient to her lord. If the husband's be Water, 
and that of his wife Earth, they will agree, but the wife will 
rule the house. If the man's be Earth, and that of the girl Air, 
they will often quarrel, but they will settle their differences, 
and the wife will rule her husband. If the man's be Earth, and 
the girl's Fire, there will be little love between them, and the 
wife will rule her husband. If the man's be Fire, and the girl's 
Air, they will not be very affectionate, but if they are they will 
be very happy, and the man will be subject to his wife. If 
the man's be Air, and the girl's Water, the result will be the 
same, but the husband will rule his wife. If the man's be 
Water, and the girl's Fire, it will be difficult for them to agree, 
and the husband will rule his wife. If the man's be Air, and the 
girl's Fire, the result will be the same, but the wife will rule her 
husband. If the man's be Fire, and the girl's Air, they will love 
each other, and the husband will rule, but he will treat her 

Omens by consultation of a verse taken by random from the 
Koran or the works of the poet Hafiz, known as Fal, and 
Istikliara, or attempts to ascertain the will of the Deity by 
praying for a dream, are also used. The father of the youth, 
when a proposal is made by the friends of a girl will write 
' To be ' and ' Not to be ' on several slips of paper, which he 

62 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

puts under his prayer-carpet, and after prayers he takes out 
one of them by random and then a second. If both are favour- 
able the offer will be accepted.^ 

In the Deccan and south India when the astrologer reports 
that the prospects are good, some women of the youth's 
family visit the girl's house and say that they are come to eat 
sweet stew {mlthd puldo) and sugared rice (shakar-bhat). If 
the other side are well disposed they give a pleasant answer, 
if not the matter comes to an end. The women never settle the 
business at the first interview, but after a few visits, if all goes 
well, a date is fixed for the ' distribution of betel standing ' 
{khare pan), the ' sugar bringing ' (shakardnd) or the ' asking ' 
{mangm). These three customs are not always done. The 
first being less expensive is preferred by the poor, the second 
by the middle classes, while the last is the most expensive 
because valuable presents must be given. It is the custom 
not to offer any food or drink, betel, tobacco, or even water 
to connexions on the other side until they have eaten some- 
thing sweet, which they do on the ' sugar-bringing ' day, or 
afterwards at a special entertainment, the sweets being sup- 
posed to bring affection and good luck. 

Many observances are included in the betrothal. In the 
Deccan there is, first, the rite of ' distributing betel standing '. 
Some friends of the youth go to the bride's house and dis- 
tribute packets of betel-leaves, each receiving one in return. 
No presents are given, and the women call this rite the ' taking 
up of the betel ' (pan uthand). Betel is supposed to possess 
mystic powers, swearing on it is equivalent to an oath on the 
Koran, and Rajputs were in the habit of eating betel as a 
solemn pledge of loyalty before a battle. ^ This, however, is 
not a part of the Law, but an innovation introduced by Indian 
Musalmans. The violation of such an agreement often leads 
to a quarrel, but if anything is found objectionable in the 

' Mrs. Meer Hassan All, 187 f., and see above, p. 29 ; the practice 
is common in the East {EB. vii. 812 ; cf. Halliday, Greek Divination, 
217 f.). Flroz Shah never transacted any business without referring 
to the Koran for an augury (EUiot-Dowson, iii. 329) ; on Aurangzeb 
taking omens from the writings of Hafiz, see Manucci, ii. 148. 

- J. Tod, Annals of Rajasthan, ed. 1920, i. 346, 381, 481, 552, 570, 
969, 1040 ; Russell, ii. 197 f. 


pedigree or character of one of the couple, the QazI or law- 
officer may pronounce the betrothal void. 

In the ' sugar-bringing ' rite the youth sends to the girl 
certain articles of dress, bangles, perfumes, and flowers. The 
fkst relation of the girl who meets the party receives the 
' contract betel ' {qaul bird), and then her friends make the 
following announcement : ' A son of B is betrothed to C 
daughter of D. Declare before the friends whether you do or 
do not agree to the marriage '. He replies ' I assent ', and the 
question and answer are repeated three times. Then they 
recite the ' prayer of good will ' {nlyat khair ka Fdtiha) ; 
that is the first chapter of the Koran followed by the one 
hundred and tenth : ' When the help of God and the victory 
arrive and thou seest men entering the religion of God in troops, 
then utter the praise of thy Lord, for He loveth to turn in 
mercy '. These rites are performed by the Qazi or law-officer, 
the Kliatib or preacher, the Naib-i-QazI, or assistant law- 
officer, by a Mashaikh, or reverend man, or by a Mulla or 
Maulavi, doctors of the Law. In some cases the engagement 
by giving betel is dispensed with, and only the Fatiha is said, 
he who recites it naming the couple and saying ' Hereby I 
betroth you '. The betel and sugar are then divided and the 
gifts sent by the bridegroom are given to the bride, who sits 
modestly, her head bent to the ground, her eyes closed and her 
face covered. Then the lady friends of the bridegroom anoint 
her head with perfumed oil, tie up her hair with a red string 
sent by the bridegroom, and adorn her with the jewels. An 
old woman of the family puts one hand behind her neck and 
the other under her chin and holds up her face to view. Each 
lady takes a look at her, and gives her a ring or some money, 
at the same time drawing her own hands over her head and 
cracking her fingers on her own temples so as to take away any 
ill luck on her own head (balden lend, tasadduq). This rite is 
known as the ' sugar-eating ' (shakarkhori), the ' betrothal ' 
{nisbat), the ' asking ' (mangni), the ' sherbet -drinking ' 
[sharbatkhori), and the ' green creeper ' {hari bet). 

In some places, however, the ' asking ' forms a special rite, 
when presents {charhauwd, charhdwd) are given to the bride. 
The youth goes to her house with music and carries on trays 

64 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

various gifts. This procession starts in the afternoon and 
halts every now and then while the dancing-girls sing. If he 
lives at a distance the gifts are sent in his absence with the 
same ceremony. When the party arrives at the house they 
rest for a while and the ' betel of the contract ' {qaul bird) is 
distributed. The trays with the gifts are sent to the bride's 
room and the guests add something as they are being sent. 
If the bridegroom is present he receives a gift of clothes of the 
marriage colours, yellow, red, or green, for black symbolizes 
mourning and white that of the burial shroud. In Gujarat on 
the betrothal day the kindred on both sides meet, gifts are 
carried in procession, and sherbet is served at the bride's house .^ 
In north India this interchange of gifts between bride and 
bridegroom is called Sachaq.^ 

Some ten or fifteen days after the ' asking ', the bride's 
people return the trays or pots in which the bridegroom's 
gifts were sent, filled with cakes which he shares with his 

In the Deccan the rite of ' threshold treading ' {dahliz 
khundldnu) follows. This is done in case after the betrothal 
it is necessary to postpone the wedding. The bridegroom sends 
cooked food to the bride accompanied with music, and he 
receives the ' salutation gift ' {salami), after which he salutes 
his mother-in-law. The reason of this custom is that it is 
unusual for the bridegroom to go to the bride's house or eat 
there until after the consummation of the marriage, but 
after this rite he becomes a member of the family and may 
eat any dish seasoned with salt at the house of his betrothed. 

In some places a day or two after the betrothal the bride- 
groom sends food and a betel-box (pdnddn) to the bride, who 
returns the compliment a day or two after. This is called the 
' salt-tasting ' (namakchashi). After this he may dispense with 
the rule to eat only sweets at her house, and he may eat food 
seasoned with salt or acid condiments. Various other gifts are 
also sent by the betrothed man to his fiancee. Thus at the 
Muharram festival he sends a necklace (dnti) of coloured 
thread, perfumed powder (abir), a conserve (sukhmukh) made 
of betel nut, melon seeds, fine-cut coco-nut kernels, coffee, and 

> BG. ix, part 2, 162. « Mrs. Meer Hassan All, 197 fif. 


cardamoms. At the Akhiri-char-shamba he sends cakes and 
sweets ; at Sha'ban food and fireworks ; at Ramazan vermicelli 
(siwaiydn) and sweets ; at the 'Id-i-qurbanI a sheep and some 
money. During an eclipse the girl sends to him offerings of 
intercession (sadqa) with a goat or kid, which must be tied to 
the leg of his bed till the eclipse is over. 

Among respectable people the betrothed couple are kept 
apart till marriage. But among some Musalmans on the 
north and west frontier betrothal is deemed to be equivalent to 
marriage and the pair cohabit. In Sind ' after betrothal the 
prudent parents do all they can to prevent the parties meeting ; 
both, however, are permitted to visit one another's relations 
of the same sex. Among the upper classes any pregustatio 
matrimonii is considered disgraceful. It is not, however, 
difficult here, as elsewhere, to persuade the betrothed female 
to grant favours which, under other circumstances, she would 
refuse ; consequently accidents are not of rare occurrence. 
It is the same in Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia, 
where the mother of the betrothed not infrequently connives 
at what is called ' the game of the betrothed ' (ndmzadbdzi), 
or visiting the future bride unknown to her father. In Sind the 
lower classes, such as the Mohana and others, think they have 
a right to intrigue with their future brides ; some of them 
will go so far as to consider the mother-in-law a substitute for 
the daughter until the latter is of age to be married '.^ In 
Bannii the betrothed youth secretly visits his fiancee, and if he 
is detected he is detained for three days, and each night the 
unmarried girls pull him about till he is glad to escape.^ 

Marriage is known as Byah, Shadi being the rejoicings 
accompanying the rite ; Nikah, the marriage service, but in 
north India this term is applied to a left-handed or informal 
marriage, as when the bride is a widow. 

In north India the marriage celebrations are supposed to 
begin with the reciprocal sending of gifts or Sachaq, and from 
that day the pair are called bride and bridegroom, Dulha, 
Dulhin. The second day is known as Menhdi or Hinnabandi, 

* Burton, Sindh, 261 f. ; C. Masson, Narrative of Various Jour-neys 
in Balochistan, Afghanistan, and the Panjab, ill. 287 f. 
2 Thorbum, 154. 

JSL4M -p 

66 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

' the henna day ', because both are anointed with the plant 
Lawsonia alba. With this is usually combined the rubbing 
with Haldi or turmeric when the pair sit in state (manja, 
manjha baithna). This rubbing with henna, saffron, or turmeric 
seems to be, partly a form of initiation, partly protective and 
stimulating or fertilizing, and when the condiment used by 
one of the pair is sent to be used in anointing the other it is 
a charm to promote union. It is a common rite among the 
Hindus from whom it was probably borrowed by the Indo- 
Musalmans.i Hence a taboo is attached to these plants. In 
the Central Provinces some people will not grow saffron because 
it is a ' sacred ' plant. ^ Turmeric is believed to be a protective 
against the Evil Eye and evil spirits. Saffron, perhaps on 
account of its colour, is also connected with fertility. In the 
Deccan before the bridegroom is anointed, the lap of the bride 
is filled with cakes and betel as a fertility charm. The first 
anointing, known as the ' thief ' {chor haldi), or secret rubbing, 
is done by the women of the family, who rub her with fragrant 
powder (chiksd). After the bridegroom has been anointed 
they rub the bride with what is called the ' public ' {sdhu, sdu) 
turmeric, about which there is no secrecy. Guests are invited 
and feasted, the laps of the ladies are filled with cakes and 
betel, the bride is seated on a chair with a red cloth canopy 
over her, and a red handkerchief is spread on a red carpet 
before her. Then they sing and do the rite of ' filling the square ' 
{chauk bharnd),^ in which a square is made with raw rice, and 
a log of sandalwood bound round with red thread is placed 
near the seat of the pair on which they rest their feet, as it is 
held unlucky to tread on the square. The bride's younger 
sister stands behind her covered with a red veil {ddmani, 
ddwanl) and takes hold of her by the ears. Two dry coco -nut 
kernels are filled with dry dates and poppy seed and rolled up 

1 L. A. Anantha Krishna Iyer, i. 201 ; ii. 193 ; Russell, iii. 70, 540 ; 
iv. 63 ; Thurston, Castes, i. 260, 265 ; Rose, i. 816, 837 ; ii. 261 ; Dubois, 
222, 229. On anointing as a magical rite see ERE. viii. 318 ; R. Smith, 
Religion of the Semites, 383 ; Crawley, 325 f. 

" Russell, ii. 463. 

* In the Panjab, when women have made vows to a Saint and their 
desires are accomplished they repair to his shrine, and sit there for a day 
and a night, a rite known as chauki bharna (Rose, i. 643). 


I— I 





with a bit of sandalwood. This bundle, called the ' lap ' (god), 
is placed in the bride's lap as a charm for fertility. Then 
some happy married woman (sohdgan) rubs a little turmeric 
on her face, body, and dress, and thus communicates fertility 
to her. Singing and dancing follow. The anointing of the 
bridegroom is done in the same way except that the fragrant 
powder is rubbed on him by the family barber. 

After the turmeric has been rubbed on the bride she is made 
to sit in state in a separate room. She is not allowed to do any 
work, eats only rice and pulse, bread and sugar, and she is 
rubbed with a preparation of lignum aloes {''ud). This, with 
frankincense, is used to perfume her, and the powder makes her 
skin soft and fragrant. 

Mari^ people take a pomegranate branch, cover it with red 
cloth, bend it to represent the way a modest bride sits, deck it 
with flowers or a silver necklace, fix it in a lump of rice and put 
it in an earthen pot round which they lay food and fruits. 
They sit up all night with music, and singing songs recording 
the exploits of the Saint Ghazi Salar Masa'iid. Some hang 
up a curtain on which are painted scenes of his battles and 
martyrdom. Next morning the bridegroom carries the pot on 
his shoulder, accompanied by FaqTrs, to the water edge, where, 
after the Fatiha is recited, it is set adrift to take bad luck 
away with it. On that evening the bridegroom is again 
anointed, and a sort of ship (jaMz) is made with a wooden 
framework like a stool, and to each of the four legs an earthen 
pot or pumpkin is tied. Or it is made of straw and bamboos, 
in the shape of a boat, so that it cannot sink, and flowers are 
hung on it. Then it is filled with flowers and fruits, covered 
with a cloth dyed with saffron, and on the top is put a lamp 
made of flour, and lighted. Food is taken to the water edge and 
the Fatiha is said over it in the name of the Saint Kliwaja 
Khizr — on whom be Peace ! — The shipwright takes the food 
and distributes it among the poor, the lamp is replaced and 
the structure is set afloat. Friends are feasted and the bride- 
groom is again anointed. 

The ' storehouse ' or ' share ' {bhanddrd, chhdndd) of the 
Saint Shah Madar is then displayed. They take a cow and some 
wheat flour, sacrifice the animal, and ask som.e Madarl Faqirs 


68 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

to make out of the meat a stew {chakoli, sutrl). When the 
Fatiha has been recited over the food in the name of the 
Saint, the Faqirs scramble for it. On this occasion the bride- 
groom wears a pink or yellow dress. 

After being anointed the bridegroom submits to certain 
taboos. He does not go to the bazar to do shopping, lest he may- 
be the victim of the Evil Eye or Black Magic. Every day food of 
various kinds, sherbet in a copper or brass pot {tanhOlu, iambalu), 
with a red thread tied round the neck, and spattered over with 
pounded sandalwood, with a tooth-twig (miswak), are sent to 
him from the bride. The first day some sweet stew is sent as a 
form otconfarreatio, that by eating this the pair may live happily 
together. The women who bring the food see that he washes 
his face, eats his breakfast, and chews betel before they^eturn. 
The customs thus described are those current in the Deccan. 

In Sind the barber's wife attends daily to wash the bride 
with sweet oil and flour (pithi) made of wheat or beans, and 
her body hair is removed by depilatories and vellication. 
Her hands, feet, and hair are stained with henna, her lips with 
walnut bark, her cheeks rubbed with rouge (surkhi) made of 
lac, and her eyes with lampblack (kajal). The hair, twisted 
from the front, is allowed to hang behind in one or two plaits, 
and the ' salt ' or brilliancy of her complexion is heightened 
with silver leaf or talc applied with a pledget of cotton. The 
girl is trained to handle a bit of musk enclosed in an em- 
broidered cloth, and moles {khal, lira) are drawn on her face 
with needles dipped in antimony or some other colouring 
matter.i The Bangash Pathans, three days before the wedding, 
strip the bride of all her ornaments and shut her up in a room 
by herself. Next night the women unplait her hair through fear 
of ' trammelling or impeding the action in hand, whatever it 
may be '.^ Among the Pathans of the Pan jab, for seven days 
before the wedding, the bride and bridegroom rest, do no 
work, and their bodies are rubbed with perfumed powder .^ 
In the United Provinces the pair, when they sit in state, wear 
dirty clothes, probably to avoid the Evil Eye.* 

1 Burton, Siiidh, 266. 

= Rose, ii. 58 ; Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of the Soul, 310 f. 

» Rose, iii. 228. ' PNQ. ii. 182. 


It is a general custom, perhaps borrowed from the Hindus, 
that tlie condiments used in the anointing are exchanged 
between the bride and bridegroom, a magical device to pro- 
mote the union of the pair. 

The measuring for the wedding dress, known as ' foot 
service ', or ' feet exalting ' {panw minnat, pdnw mez), is 
a formal act. Each of the pair provides the dress of the other, 
and the measurement is made by a tailor who attends at their 
houses, or by some old lady of the family, each of whom 
receives a gift. 

In the Deccan before the wedding begins, a shed (mandwd, 
pandal), as in the case of the Hindus, is set up at both houses, 
and in it six or seven water pots (kalas ka mdt, jhol kd ghard) 
are placed, as is the Hindu rule.^ These pots are smeared with 
sandalwood paste and they are placed in the shed pointing 
towards the right side of the house. Grain is also scattered 
there, probably as a fertility charm. The pots are not filled 
with water but with curdled milk (dahi) and large cakes, the 
tops being covered with a red cloth. Four happy married 
women, known as ' ladies of the marriage shed ', do the 
smearing with sandalwood, and when they have put into them 
a little perfumed powder they cover them with a wheaten cake. 
At both houses food is prepared, and over it the Fatiha is said 
in the names of the Prophet, the Saints, deceased ancestors, 
and women of the house who died before their husbands. The 
food is then given to ladies of rank who are noted for their 
virtue. These are called ' partakers of the dish of the Lady 
Fatima ', the model of all wifely virtues. This food is given 
only to these selected ladies, who have fasted all day, and what 
is left, over which the Fatiha has not been recited, is distributed 
among the others. Some place among the things over which 
the Fatiha is recited a red earthen cup filled with slaked 
lime, and the specially selected ladies dip their fingers once or 

' The pots placed at a Hindu wedding are intended to be the abodes 
of the benign spirits which attend to bless the marriage (Thurston, Castes, 
i. 13 ; BG. ix. part 1, 161 ; xv, part 1, 248). The installation of the 
goddess in a jar (ghara) is part of the ritual at the Hindu festival, the 
Durga Puja (Pratapachandra Ghosha, Durga Puja, with notes and 
Illustrations, 22 ff.) They are not used in Jain marriages (Mrs. S. Steven- 
son, The Heart of Jainism, 198). 

70 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

twicje in the lime, suck them and then eat the other food. 
This is regarded as a chastity test. When the ' shed of the 
ladies ' is erected, either before or after the Fatiha has been 
said, they spread a red cloth on the carpet, tie a red string 
round the top and handle of a fiour stone mill (chakki), mark 
it all round with sandalwood, place it on the carpet, when seven 
happy married women in the shed of the bridegroom, and nine 
in that of the bride, sing ' the song of the mill ', which is usually 
sung at weddings. Then the mill is set going and the perfumed 
powder (chiksd) used at the wedding is ground in it. When 
this is ready they tie up some of the powder in a corner of the 
veil of each woman, put a little in the water pots, as already 
described, and rub the rest on bride and bridegroom. This 
powder rite is called the ' renown of the mill ' {chakki ndwarl, 
namdwarl).^ Some of these south Indian rites do not seem to 
be practised in north India or in other Musalman covmtries. 
They have possibly been borrowed from the Hindus, and they 
are peculiar to women, who regard them as of greater impor- 
tance than the Koran and the Traditions. 

Gifts {ban, sachaq), consisting of food, articles of dress, 
and ornaments, are sent to the bride. They are carried to her 
house by a party of the bridegroom's friends, accompanied by 
music, while the ladies follow the procession in litters. When 
the presents arrive they are handed to the friends of the bride, 
and rich people give a dinner. Some people combine with this 
the sending of the dowry, the ' rice of chastity ' and the 
' lifting of the oil pots '. In the evening, food, known as 
' coloured gifts ' {rangharl), is sent by the bride to the bride- 

The bridal paraphernalia {jahez, dahez) consists, first, of a 
wedding dress provided by the friends of the bride for the 
bridegroom, a quantity of the bride's clothes which have been 
worn, a box {soMgpura, sohdgpitdrd) containing nutmeg, 
mace, clothes, catechu, poppy seed, and a silver coin, enclosed 
in a piece of folded paper tied with a bit of mica and a red 

' A similar rite, analogous to that practised bj^ Hindus {BG. ix, 
part 1, 163), is done by Musalmans at Lucknow, by tying the string 
inard) to the pestle (miisal) used in grinding the condiment with which 
bride and bridegroom are anointed. It is probably a fertility charm 
(Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 207). 


thread. Secondly, there is a selection of jewellery for the bride, 
a canopy, wall hangings, a prayer-carpet (janamdz), beds and 
bedding, cooking utensils, a spittoon {pikddn, ugdlddn), a 
palanquin (pdlki), cattle, and in old days a female slave. 
Among the Brahui ' Jhalawans of estate will stand out for a 
couple of handmaids, all kinds of ornaments, and a set of furni- 
ture for the house, a set of vessels and ever so much more. 
And there 's often a deal of heart-burning in the matter '.^ 
These articles provided by the bride's family as her dowry are 
gifts intended by her family to procure for their daughter 
a husband of equal or higher rank than their own. The dowry 
remains the property of the bride as long as she lives, if she 
dies childless her nearest relatives can reclaim it, but if she 
leaves children they take it. It must be distinguished from the 
settlement {mahr) made by husband on his wife. Among 
Shi'as it is a common act of piety among ladies who, after a life 
of longing, have induced their husbands to bring them on a 
pilgrimage to the holy places, to forgo their claim to a settle- 
ment on first catching a glimpse of the sacred shrine. ^ 

On the afternoon of the bridegroom's night procession 
(shabgasht) his sister is decked in new clothes and she performs 
the rite of ' rending the pot covers ' (Jhol phornd). This con- 
sists in forcibly tearing the cloth tied on the mouth of the pots 
and taking out some of the contents. She tastes a little of the 
curds and gives the remainder to friends. The same rite is 
performed by the bride's sister at her house and the pots are 
left unwashed. 3 

When the invitations have been issued for the procession 
of the bridegroom the men are feasted apart and the ladies 
in the women's apartments. After dinner the women go to 
the bride's house and do the rite of ' winnowing the rice of 
chastity ' (pat kd chdwal charhdnd, charwdnd). They put a 
couple <3t pounds of raw rice in a red handkerchief, and with 
a heavy wooden pestle (musal), to which a packet of betel 
leaves is attached, they get the women, including the bride, to 
make a pretence of husking it while they sing the usual songs. 

1 Bray, 39. ^ Sykes, Glory of the ShVa World, 229. 

^ This rite seems to be confined to the Deccan, and is apparently 
a magical aid for the defloration of the bride. 

72 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, vin 

After this the rite of the ' oil pot offering ' {tel charhand) 
is done at the bridegroom's house. Seven empty oil pots, 
decorated by the women with the sign of an arrow, to which 
a packet of betel and a cake (suhdli) are fastened by a red 
thread, are put into a basket, and sugar candy and dentifrice 
{missi) with some sweet oil are put out in cups. The women 
rub some dentifrice on the youth's teeth, make him chew 
a little sugar candy, apply oil to his forehead, and then they 
lay the oil pots on trays with the dentifrice and take them with 
music to the bride. The bride is brought out and seated in 
the wedding shed with a red handkerchief held over her to 
scare evil spirits. First, some happy married woman rubs 
dentifrice on her teeth and makes her rinse her mouth, in the 
hope that she may be as old and as happy as the woman who 
applies it, and that by sharing the dentifrice with the bride- 
groom she may also share his love. All the other women then 
rub the oil on her body with the tip of an arrow, and lay the 
pots, four on the right and three on the left of the girl. Women 
then hand the pots to each other across the bride to shield her 
from harm. This is done three times while the women sing 
songs. During this time the girl holds between her lips the bit 
of sugar candy which the bridegroom has already sucked, 
as a mark of union, and then she gives it to some child who is 
present. Dentifrice is held in high estimation because it was 
sanctified for use in the toilet by Fatima, and in Gujarat women 
in their courses do not use it.^ It is customary for a boy or girl 
not to use dentifrice until after marriage. Boys, however, 
apply it once after circumcision, but girls never use it till their 
wedding day. Hence the black mark on the teeth shows that 
she is a married woman. Among women of some castes the 
rites of the ' virgin rice ' and that of the oil pots are held to 
be so important that no bride at whose wedding they have been 
omitted is considered to be in south India a fit member of 

The procession of the bridegroom known as ' noctural ' 
{shabgasht), or ' dawn of day procession ' (sargasht, sargaru, 
the last a Sind term) leads up to the actual wedding. After 
the oil pot rite the youth is shaved and bathed, and if he 

1 BO. ix, part 1, 62. 


wears his hair long he has it perfumed with aloewood ('wd). 
Wlien he is tying on his turban, if any old man of the family 
whose wife is alive happens to be present, he is asked to 
twist the end of it two or three times round his own head, 
signifying that bride and bridegroom, like himself and his 
wife, may enjoy a long and happy married life. The old man 
gives back the turban and the youth ties it on with his own 
hands. He is decked in the wedding dress provided by the 
friends of the bride, puts coUyrium {surma) on his eyes, denti- 
frice on his teeth, chews betel, pastes strips of silver-leaf or 
tinsel (afshdn) on his cheeks, hangs flowers round his neck, 
ties the gold and flowered veil (sihara) on his head, and over it 
the outer veil (miqna') to protect himself from the Evil Eye. 
Then he mounts his horse or is seated in a litter {ambdri), 
and makes a tour of the town. Artificial trees made of coloured 
paper, the pith of the shola tree (bhend) ^ and wax, decorated 
with mica {talk, talq), and gold leaf'{zarwaraq) are carried with 
him. They let off fireworks, carry lights fixed horizontally on 
ladders, and halt occasionally to watch the performance 
of the dancing-girls. Thus he goes to the mosque, says the 
two-bow prayers and the thanksgiving {shukrlya), and thence 
to the bride's house, an umbrella made of flowers or paper, 
ornamented with mica, being twirled round his head. 

In the Deccan, before he alights from his horse, the bride's 
brother gives him hot milk or sherbet, so that his married life 
may be sweet. A coco-nut is dashed on the ground before him 
and lemons are cut and thrown over his head to the four 
quarters to scare evil spirits. When he alights there is a general 
scramble for the decorations {araish), which are kept as charms 
to ensure a happy wedding for their possessors. Sometimes 
the carriers of these things resist and keep them for the 
' bracelet ' day, on which they must be handed over to the 
crowd, unless they are borrowed, in which case they must be 
preserved. During the scramble there is much confusion, and 
this is followed by mock resistance to the entry of the bride- 
groom, which is done by the bride's brother or other near 

1 Aeschynomene aspera, out of which the Sola or ' Solar ' Topi, or 
hat, worn by Europeans to protect the head from the sun, is made 
(Watt, Comm. Prod., 28 ff.)- 

74 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

relation holding up a bamboo screen across the gate until he 
receives a forfeit {dhaingand, ' teasing, worrying '). The fee 
is usually placed in a small cup {matkl) which is carried by the 
resisters. As they resist, the friends of the bridegroom call out 
' Wlio are you who dare to obstruct the King's cavalcade ? ' 
To this the other party reply, ' So many thieves are about at 
night, perhaps you are some of them '. Besides this badinage 
there is often some horse-play in which a man or two are hurt. 
Finally the bridegroom* gives the fee and he is helped to 
dismount and is carried in on some-one's back, probably as 
a mark of respect to the threshold. In Gujarat the bride drops 
rice over him from a window as he enters .^ In other places the 
bride is brought out and she is given flowers, sugar, and raw rice 
which she is told to throw three times over the bridegroom 
from behind a screen. When this is done the bridegroom joins 
his friends in the men's room. 

The general name of the marriage service is Nikah, which in 
north India means an informal marriage. Another term used 
is Barat, which properly means the coming of the bridegroom 
to fetch his bride. 

In the Deccan, if the hour at which he reaches the house is 
auspicious, the Nikah is done at once, otherwise it is deferred 
to the fourth or other lucky hour after. In the latter case the 
guests go home, and are recalled at the fixed hour. Up to this 
point, if the bridegroom has reason for objecting to the match, 
it may be dissolved. 

The QazI or law-officer or his deputy usually attends, and 
some of the youth's lady friends are brought in litters. The 
Qazi appoints two men of full age as witnesses (wakil) on the 
part of the bridegroom, and orders them to go to the bride's 
friends and ask them to give orders for the Nikah, and to state 
the amount of the Mahr or marriage settlement required. 
When these men have given their message a Wakil, or agent, 
returns with them to negotiate on the part of the bride's 

The object of tlirowing rice at weddings is uncertain. It may be 
done in order to detain the soul of the bridegroom, which is ready to 
fly away at this crisis, or it may be a fertility charm, rice being a sacred 
and prolific grain (Frazer, OB., Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, 33 ff. ; 
Crawley, 325). 


relations. Some jokes are played by the bride's friends, 
such as giving them a packet of betel leaves in which the leaf 
of some other plant has been enclosed, or the bride's brother 
gives the Wakil a blow on the back with a leather strap, saying 
that this is the punishment for giving false evidence. The 
bride's agent says in a jocular way, ' The settlement is so 
great that the bridegroom can never pay it. But first hand 
over as earnest money twelve ships laden with silk, ten camel 
loads of needles, a couple of vessels laden with garlic and 
onion peel, fifty white elephants and a milhon gold mohurs. 
Then I will tell you the amount of the settlement '. The Qazi 
in reply asks if this is correct, or if he has been bribed to 
speak in this way on the part of the bride. The witnesses 
carry on the joke, ' He did go behind the screen and had a 
consultation, but we cannot say that he was bribed '. 

According to the Law the Mahr or settlement consists of 
two parts : Muajjal, ' prompt ', demandable on entering into 
the contract ; Muwajjal, ' deferred ', payable on dissolution 
of the contract. The former is not usually paid at marriage, 
but it is a guarantee of the good conduct of the bridegroom, 
as he must pay it in the case of divorce due to his fault. Both 
the Prophet and ffings, like Akbar,i disapproved of high 
settlements, for they are rarely if ever paid, but they prevent 
rash divorces. At this time also it is usually settled whether the 
presents of jewellery made before marriage are to be the pro- 
perty of husband or wife in the event of separation or divorce. 
Among the BrahCii the customary rate of dower is that current 
of old in the bride's family, but usually the bridegroom has to 
pay the ' milk share ' {shirpaili) to the bride's mother and 
Lab or bride-price to her father.^ Among Pathans the bride's 
parents generally accept money to defray expenses, including 
the girl's ornaments and clothes, but poor parents now-a-days 
accept money as the price of the girl.^ 

When the amount of the settlement is fixed the Qazi informs 
the bridegroom and asks whether he accepts the terms. When 
he agrees, the Qazi having taken the veils {miqna', sihard) 

1 Ain, i. 278. 

^ Bray, 68; Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 100 f. 

' Rose, ill. 228, 410, 499, 505. 

76 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

from his face, up to which time they must be worn, makes 
him gargle his throat three times with water, and seating him 
with his face towards the Qibla or Mecca, makes him repeat, 
first, the deprecation (astaghfaru-lldh) ' I ask forgiveness of God ', 
secondly, the four Quls, i. e. the four chapters of the Koran 
beginning with the word ' Say ' (109, 112, 113," 114), which 
have nothing to say to marriage, but seem to be selected 
only on account of their brevity ; the five clauses of the 
Kalima or Creed, the articles of behef (sifat-i-iman) — belief 
in God, in His Angels, in the Scriptures, in the Prophet, in the 
Resurrection and Day of Judgement, in the absolute decree and 
predestination of good and evil — and the ' prayer of praise ' 
{du'a-i-qunut). If he is illiterate these are explained to him 
in Hindostani. Then having made him repeat the marriage 
contract (nikah ka sigha, 'aqd-i-nikah) in Arabic, and having 
explained its meaning, he desires the Wakil of the bride and 
bridegroom to join hands together, and directs the former to 
say to the latter ' So and so's daughter, so and so, by the 
agency of her representative and the testimony of two wit- 
nesses, has, in her marriage with you, had such a settlement 
made upon her. Do you consent to it ? ' The bridegroom 
replies, ' With my whole heart and soul, to my marriage with 
this lady, as well as to the already mentioned settlement made 
upon her, I do consent, consent, consent '.i In the Panjab 
among Musalmans who are converts from Hinduism, the Hindu 
rite of Ganth jora, the tying of the sheets of the pair, is followed, 
and the bride, who is often a mere child, keeps her marriage 
sheet as long as she is a virgin.^ The Bannuchls tie together the 
sheets of the bridegroom and of the girl who acts as proxy 
for the bride, the pair walk to a stream, the bridegroom lets 
a few drops of water fall three into a pitcher, he does the 
same with a sword, the water from which falls three times into 
the pitcher, after which the knots are untied and the proxy 
withdraws.3 During the performance of the Nikah a tray is 
placed before the QazI containing sugar candy, dried dates, 
almonds, and betel. In some places a couple of pounds of raw 
rice and sandalwood paste are put in a cup, with a necklace 

^ Compare the account in Lane, ME. i. 202 ff. 

= Temple, Legends, ii. 160. ^ Thorburn, 156. 


of two strings of black beads (pot kd lachhd) in it, and in the 
tray is laid the Qazi's fee, 2^ rupees, with clothes and other 
gifts. In Gujarat he receives 5 rupees and a shawl, and IJ 
rupees are paid to the warden of the mosque in the street where 
the bride lives. ^ 

Under Muhammadan rule the Qazi acted as civil and criminal 
judge. At present, save that he often leads the prayers at the 
Ramazan and Baqar 'Id feasts, he is little more than a marriage 
registrar. He has no right to demand a fee for the marriage 
service, because this is a solemn rite enjoined by the Law. 
Gifts and grants of land (m''dm, jdgir) and salaries were con- 
ferred upon Qazis by the former kings, which the East India 
Company and the British Government — may its good fortune 
be perpetual ! — have continued to them, solely for the dis- 
charge of the following functions : to perform the Nikah, to 
train children in the knowledge of Islam, to bury the helpless 
poor, to act as Imam or prayer-leader daily at the five times of 
worship in the mosque, to appoint the Mutawali or superinten- 
dent of the mosque and the Khatib or preacher, to deliver the 
Khutba, the bidding prayer or sermon, on feast days and at 
the Friday services, to appoint the Muazzin or caller to prayer, 
the Mujawir or KliidmatI to sweep the mosque and provide 
water for ablution — all which charges the Qazi should defray 
from his own purse, or from contributions collected from the 
congregation. If the Qazi neglects these duties the ruler may 
dismiss him and appoint another in his stead, for the object of 
his office is to give relief to the servants of God, and this is 
frustrated if the poor are required to pay exorbitant marriage 
fees. But in Musalman states the mosque officials are generally 
appointed by the ruler, and as they receive pay from him they 
are not in the Qazi's service, and he, therefore, naturally 
demands marriage fees. Qazis are appointed for the advantage 
of the ignorant, and learned men have no occasion for their 
services because they can perform the marriage, funeral, and 
other rites themselves, a practice against which there is no 
prohibition either by God or by His Prophet. 

After the Nikah the Qazi offers up a prayer on behalf of the 
bride and bridegroom : ' O Great God ! Grant that mutual 

» BG. ix, part 2, 166. 

78 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

love may reign between this couple, as between Adam and 
Hawwa', or Eve, Ibrahim, or Abraham, and Sarah, between 
Yusuf, Joseph, and Zulaikha, wife of Potiphar, Moses and 
Safura or Zipporah, His Highness Muhammad Mustafa and 
'Aylsha, between 'Aliu-l-Murtaza and Fatimatu-z-zuhra ! ' 
He then takes the contents of the tray and handing the sugar 
candy and beads to the bridegroom's mother or some other 
lady, he tells her to take them to the bride and inform her that 
from this day she must consider herself married to so and so, 
son of so and so, that such and such a jointure has been settled 
upon her, that she is to wear this necklace as a sign of wedlock 
and eat the sugar candy as an emblem of the sweets of married 
life. On hearing this the bride weeps, or is supposed to weep. 
In the men's room the bridegroom falls upon the necks of 
his friends, kisses their hands and receives congratulations. 
Even were he a slave, on this occasion he would be allowed 
to embrace the men present. On the departure of the QazI 
the musicians strike up a loud, discordant peal in order to 
scare evil spirits, and the friends of the bridegroom are 

The bridegroom accompanied by his blood and marriage 
relations, to whom the bride's friends offer sandalwood paste, 
enters the room, a red cloth being spread on the floor for him 
to walk on and a red cloth canopy is held over their heads as 
they walk in. As a joke, their mouths are smeared with some 
sandalwood and the guests enjoy a laugh at their expense. 
Betel is handed round and they are seated on the carpet. 
By way of a joke some bits of leather or potsherds are put under 
the carpet. A basin (chilamcM) and an ewer (dftaba) are 
brought, a red cloth is hung over them, a little sherbet is 
poured over their hands, and they are given water to wash. 
Betel and sherbet are handed round. As each partakes of the 
sherbet he drops a rupee or other coin into the bowl, and some 
do the same as they wash. Sometimes, as a joke, a decoction 
of gram is given instead of the sherbet, and when a man has 
drunk some one rubs his mouth with a starched towel till his 
lips bleed. Then the table-cloth (dastarkhxvdn) is spread, 
and boiled rice {bhdt) with sweet stew {mitM puldo) is served. 
The hands of the bridegroom are washed by his brother-in-law, 



who puts handfuls of the food into his mouth, after which the 
bridegroom eats with his own hands. The money dropped into 
the cups is taken by the servants, but sometimes it is given 
to the master of the house. When the meal is over, betel nuts, 
flowers, and rose water (Htr) are handed round, and then the 
guests take their leave, only his near relations remaining with 
the bridegroom. 

According to the Koran and the Traditions marriage 
depends on three facts : the assent of the parties, the evidence 
of two witnesses, the marriage settlement. If any of these are 
wanting, the marriage is void. Men of wealth usually pay the 
whole or one -third of the settlement at the time of marriage, 
the poor by instalments. As it is fixed by divine command, 
they must pay it partly in jewels, clothes, or in some other way, 
or induce the friends of the bride to remit a portion. Should 
the bridegroom not have received this immunity or has not 
caused the demand to be cancelled, he is responsible, and should 
he die his father or son is obliged to discharge it. Should the 
wife die, her relations can demand it, or recover it by law. But 
if a woman of her own accord leaves her husband she forfeits 
the settlement, and if her husband turns her out of doors 
he must first pay it. 

Before the bridegroom leaves the men's room and enters that 
of the women, her friends adorn the bride to receive her husband. 
This is the ' displaying ' (jalwa, jilwa) of the bride. In southern 
India after the Nikah is over, the bride's veil (sihard) is sent 
from the bridegroom's house to that of the bride with a pro- 
cession of women and music. These women are feasted. At 
the displaying of the bride, her relations attend on the bride. 
In the afternoon a tire-woman (mashshdta) fastens the veil on 
the bride's head, brings her in and seats her on a bed. The 
bridegroom is made to sit Opposite to her with a red screen 
hung between the pair. The tire-woman holding a piece of 
red string puts it with some raw rice in the bride's hand, 
and helps her to throw it over the curtain on her husband's 
head. The bridegroom's sister ties a ring to the end of the 
thread and putting it with some rice in her brother's hand 
makes him throw these over the curtain on the bride. The 
ring is thrown backwards and forwards three times, a marriage 

80 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

song (hajuluhd) being sung all the time, and then the tire-woman 
tells the husband to remove the curtain. The pair sit on the 
bed side by side while the tire-woman makes jokes. When the 
sister or mother of the bridegroom asks her to show his wife's 
face to him she says, ' The bride eclipses the moon in beauty ! 
Were I to allow him to have a single glance, the poor fellow 
would go mad ! ' 

In southern India about dawn the bride's brother calls the 
husband to the women's room. He goes in by himself and 
finds all unveiled except the bride, because women need not 
be veiled before a king or a bridegroom, both known as Shah. 
While a Dom singer woman sings, the pair are seated on a bed 
separated by a red curtain. Rice p,nd a red thread are thrown 
backwards and forwards over it, and at last the Dom woman 
asks the husband to pull down the curtain and his wife's face 
is shown to him for the first time in a mirror. As he looks on 
her face he recites from an oj^en Koran the first verse on which 
his eyes happen to fall.^ Some time is spent before he sees her 
face. The tire-woman puts a bit of sugar candy on the bride's 
head and tells her husband to take it up with his lips. This is 
repeated on her shoulders, knees, and feet. At the last time, 
instead of taking the sugar in his mouth, he tries to do it with 
his left hand, the use of which is not allowed as it is employed 
for purposes of ablution, but his mother and sister insist that 
he should be allowed to do as he pleases, and finally he has to 
take it with his right hand. The tire-woman taking hold of 
the bride's head moves it backwards and forwards two or three 
times, and she does the same to the bridegroom. Finally she 
holds a mirror between and he gets a peep at her, while a 
Koran is shown to him. All this time the girl docs not open 
her eyes. A cup of milk is given to the bridegroom who 
drinks and touches the bride's lips with what is left, hoping to 
increase their mutual love. In the Deccan when the pair 
descend from the bed, a large vessel of red water is placed 
before them. A ring from the bride's hand is dropped into the 
water, and the pair try which of them can pick it out first. 
Whoever succeeds will rule the house. The bride is helped in 
the search by a sister or friend, and she is generally allowed to 

^ BG. xviii, part 1, 487. 


win.i In the Deccan four round switches covered with flowers 
are given, two to the husband and two to the wife, and they 
are told to beat each other with them. When the sticks are 
broken the women present throw slippers and brinjals (the 
egg plant, solanum melongena) at the bridegroom, the mock 
beating and pelting being probably intended to scare evil 
spirits and promote fertility.^ After this the pair are led 
into the cook-room, where the bride is made to knead 
some wheat flour and her husband to bake it, while the 
women jeer at him. Then they return to the women's 
room, where the bride is displayed to such male relatives 
as are allowed to see her. They bless her and present gifts. 
Then the bride's mother puts the bride's hand in that of 
her husband, saying, ' Hitherto this girl's modesty and 
reputation have been in our hands, and we now entrust 
them to you '. She is assured that her daughter will be 
well cared for. After this the bridegroom makes his saluta- 
tion (taslim) to the relatives of his wife, and the ladies 
present gifts to him. 

When the husband goes away with his wife he rides, as he 
did when he came to fetch her, and she is seated in a litter 
(miydna).^ At his door he lifts her out and carries her inside 
in his arms, so that she may not touch the threshold. Here his 
sister meets him and demands that she shall have the first 
daughter born as the wife of her son, to which he replies that 
she may have the first daughter of his bond-maid or of his cat. 
After a little opposition he promises to give his daughter. 
A fowl or a sheep is sacrificed in the name of the couple, and the 
meat is given to the poor. The pair are then made to embrace 
each other and perform two prostrations (sijda). After this 
the bride washes her husband's feet in sandalwood and water, 

* This is also a Panjab custom (Rose, i. 815). It is common among 
Hindus (Thurston, Castes, i. 143, 243 ; A. K. L. Anantha Krishna 
Iyer, ii. 193 (catching fish) ; Russell, ii. 5, 533 ; BG. ix, part 1, 92 ; 
Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 108 £E. 

2 BG. xviii, part 1, 487. 

3 In Egypt the lucky days are the eve of Friday or Monday, the 
latter being preferred (Lane, ME. i. 205). Precise Musalmans in the 
Panjab send the bride to her husband's house mounted on a mare, 
not in a litter (doli) (Rose, i. 822). 


82 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

and he does the same for her.i Then they retire to the nuptial 
chamber. The best time for entering it is said to be between 
midnight and day dawn. In Sind, before consummating the 
marriage, the bridegroom is directed to wash the bride's feet 
and to throw the water into the four corners of the room, 
as it brings good luck and disperses the evil spirits which 
impede consummation. The husband takes hold of his wife's 
front hair and repeats the prayer, ' O Lord ! Bless me and my 
wife ! O Lord ! Give to her and mine their daily bread ! O Lord ! 
cause the fruit of this woman's womb to be an honest man, 
a good Muslim, and not a companion of devils ! ' 2 At sunrise 
the bride's mother warns the sleepers that it is time to bathe 
and dress. After coitus (jima'-) the body is impure (junub) 
and the greater ablution {ghusl) is required. 

Among the Brahul the two mothers with other ladies of the 
kin keep watch and ward at the chamber door till they are 
called. If there be unreasonable delay the groom calls for 
water blessed by the priest. ^ The inspection of the wedding 
sheet to confirm the fact of the bride's virginity is a well-known 
Semitic practice.* It is a purely domestic rite confined to 
women, and it is seldom mentioned, particularly if the result be 
unfavourable to the girl's virtue. It is well known among the 
Brahui and Baloch, the bride's mother exhibiting with 
triumph the proof of her daughter's virginity .^ 

On the third or fourth day after the wedding the marriage 
bracelet is untied {kangan kholnd), the rite on the third day 
being called Bahora, on the fourth ChauthI in southern India. 
The bracelet consists of a few pearls, some grains of raw rice, 

1 The custom of going to the public bath before consummation, an 
important part of the rite in other Musalman countries (Westermarck, 
Marriage Customs in Morocco, 136), does not prevail in India, where 
the use of the Turkish bath is uncommon. 

^ Burton, Sindh, 160. Among some classes consummation is deferred, 
as in the case of the Three Nights of Tobias (ERE. ii. 51 ; iii. 502 ; 
Rose, iii. 507). 

' Bray, 71. 

« Deut. xxii. 13 ff. ; Burton, AN. i. 373 ; Pilgrimage, ii. Ill ; 
Westermarck, Marriage Ceremonies in Morocco, 159, 228 f., 236, 240. 
In case of failure the blood of a pigeon or other bird is used to disguise 
the fact [JRAI. xlv. 37 ; Burton, AN. i. 373). 

' Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911 ; i. 105 f. ; Bray, 72. 


flowers, and a quarter rupee piece tied up in red cloth and 
fastened by a red thread to the right wrist of bride and bride- 
groom on the night of the procession. On this occasion the 
relatives are invited, and when the brother of the bride arrives 
at the house of the married pair he is presented witli a sheet or 
handkerchief and assisted to dismount. His wife is received 
with respect, and a mantle, bodice, and bangles are given to her. 
There is much festivity, men and women wearing dresses soaked 
in red or yellow dye, and bespattering each other with pitchers 
of coloured water and pelting each other with egg-shells or 
thin balls made of sealing-wax filled with red powder.^ This 
is followed by a dinner. The pair are seated in the marriage 
shed, and water, vegetables, sandalwood paste, and lemons are 
set out in a large flat dish (sim). The tire-woman takes the 
bangles from the wrists of the pair and throwing them into the 
dish calls out ' Which of you will first take them out ? ' The 
bride, sitting modestly with her eyes shut, has her hands held 
by the tire-woman or some other lady present, and dipping 
them into the dish takes out the bracelets. Should the bride- 
groom be the first to take them out he is assailed on aU sides. 
The bride's sister and other relations strike him with flower 
wands, pelt him with sweetmeats, fruits, and cakes, and his 
sister-in-law rubs his ears and cheeks smartly. If he wins the 
game he makes the bride humbly beg for the bracelets, saying 
' I am your wife and slave '. If she wins she makes him do the 
same. This is done three times and the bracelets are put back 
into the dish.^ After this they braid the side-locks (mihri, 
zulf) of the bride, arrange her back hair in a plait, and make 
the bridegroom undo one of her side-locks with one hand.^ 
If he uses both hands he is roughly treated by her sister. 
After this the friends of the bridegroom receive a dress of 
honour {khil'at) * from the bride's friends. It is not customary 

' A well-known fertility rite practised at the Hindu Holi, or spring 
festival {Folk-lore, xxv. 80). 

- For these auguries see p. 80 above, and compare BG. xviii, part 1, 
397 ; Mysore Ethnographical Survey, vii. 10 ; Russell, ii. 533. 

» A charm to promote coition (Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of the 
Soul, 293 ff.). 

* KhiVat, ' what one strips from his person ', the used garments 
conveying the qualities of his donor to him to whom they are presented 


84 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

to offer money on this occasion, nor if it were offered would it 
be accepted. Then the pair are escorted home ; in fact, it is 
usual only in some families that the husband has the pleasure 
of leading his wife home (zifaf). In Sind the husband passes 
seven days and nights in his father-in-law's house .^ When the 
Brahui brings his wife home ' as soon as they reach the dwelling 
a sheep is sacrificed on the threshold, and the bride is made to 
step on the blood that is sprinkled in such wisa that one of the 
heels of her shoes is marked therewith. A little of the blood 
is caught in a cup and the mother of the bride stains the 
bride's forehead with the blood as she steps over the threshold. 
And the cup is taken to a running stream, and the green grass 
and the blood are then flung out ; or if there be no running 
stream close by, they pour the blood underneath a green tree, 
and there they leave the green grass. But now-a-days among 
fine folk who have learned more of the ways of the Faith, the 
bride's forehead is not stained with the blood. The groom's 
mother hands her a cup of milk with a bunch of green grass 
in it, and the bride dips her little finger in the milk, and the 
milk and the green grass are then thrown into a stream or 
flung under a green tree '.^ 

The rite of ' resumption of the use of the hands ' (hath 
bartdna) takes place in southern India three or four days after 
the removal of the marriage bracelets. Sometimes it is 
deferred to the Juma'gl, the fifth or last Friday of the honey- 
moon, and until this is done the pair are not allowed to do any 
work. On the day appointed the pair with all their relatives 
and friends are invited by sending round cardamom seeds or 
in some other way, as already described. The bride's relatives 
bring with them to the husband's house food, betel, flowers, 
a handkerchief, and a ring. As a matter of form, they make 
the pair cook a couple of butter cakes (pun) and afterwards do 
some light work, such as lifting a pot of water, swinging a 
net {chhinkd) in which food is kept out of the reach of cats or 

(Burton, AN. 1. 179 ; Manucci, ii. 464 ; Morier, First Journey, 121, 215 
Yule-Burnett, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 483). 

1 Burton, Sindh, 272. 

2 Bray, 76 f. Compare a similar rite among the Kachins (Scott- 
Hardiman, Gazetteer, Upper Burma and the Shan States, part 1, vol. i 
407 ; Crawley, 362 ; Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, 176). 


rats, stirring the stew with a skimmer, picking vegetables, 
or locking and unlocking a trimk in which they put some 
rupees. Before the cake-making the husband is obliged 
to unwind a thread twisted round some of the cakes. If 
he is sharp he does this easily, but if he delays his brother- 
in-law or his sister-in-law pelts him. After this the pair 
are made to break some flour balls, some of which they 
eat out of each other's hands, and give the rest to the 
ladies present.^ A feast follows at which the friends of 
the bridegroom give dresses to the bride's father, mother, 
and sister. 

Feasts are given on the Juma'gT or five Fridays of the 
honeymoon, on the first at the bride's house, on the three fol- 
lowing there or at the house of some near relative, on the 
fifth at the husband's house. But practice varies, and in 
Gujarat on the four Fridays after the wedding the pair dine 
with the bride's relations.^ Much is thought of these Friday 
dinners, and if they are not given a man seldom visits his 
father-in-law. In north India for a year after the consumma- 
tion of the marriage the bride has to visit her parents. Half 
the months of Sha'ban, Mulxarram, and Safar should be spent 
with them, and sometimes Rabi'u-1-awwal and Shawwal. 
She must come to see them at the Musalman festivals of 
Muharram and Shab-i-barat, and at the Hindu feasts of 
Holi and DIvall, and she ought to pass the whole of Ramazan 
with them. She should pass the Baqar 'Id half with her parents 
and half with her husband. These rules apply only to the first 
year of married life. At her parents' house she wears a veil 
(ghunghat) in the presence of males of the family. For two 
or three years she must not address her husband in the presence 
of the house elders.^ 

According to the precepts of the Prophet— on whom be the 
Peace ! — Musalmans are allowed by the Koran and the Tradi- 
tions to have four wives.* ' One quarrels with you, two are 
sure to involve you in their quarrels ; when you have three 
factions are formed against her you love best ; but four 
find society and occupation among themselves, leaving the 

* As before, magical fertility rites. ^ ^q j^, part 2, 167. 

» NINQ. V. 205. * Koran, iv. 3. 

86 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, vm 

husband in peace '.^ ' Wives there be four : there 's Bed- 
fellow, Mucklieap, Gadabout, and Queen o' women. The 
more's the pity that the last is one in a hundred '.^ 'A man 
should marry four wives : a Persian to have some one to talk 
to ; a KhurasanI woman for his housework ; a Hindu for 
nursing his children ; a woman from Mawarau-n-nahr, or 
Transoxiana, to have some one to whip as a warning to the 
other three '.^ Most men, however, have only one wife, a few 
two or three, scarcely any four. ' In practice, except among 
wealthy Muhammadans, a second wife is very rarely taken 
unless the first one is barren or suffers from some incurable 
disease '.* In the Panjab polygamy is more general among 
rich Musalmans than in other parts of the country.^ 

There are three forms of divorce ^ (talaq) : revocable 
{taldq-i-hdin) within three menstrual periods, the husband 
saying only once to his wife ' I have divorced you ' ; irrevoc- 
able {taldq-i-raja''i) unless a second marriage between the 
parties is performed, the husband repeating the same words 
twice ; absolute (taldq-i-mutlaqa) three similar repetitions. 
If a man divorces his wife by the revocable form he may 
within three menstrual periods take her back, but not after- 
wards. If he has given her the irrevocable form of words he 
may, if both agree, either maintain her within doors, or after 
paying her settlement send her away. In the former case, 
should the woman be unwilling to remain, she may resign half 
or a quarter of her settlement and depart with the rest. It is 
unlawful for him to take her back unless he marry her a second 
time. When a woman is divorced by the absolute form it is 
unlawful to cohabit with her until she has married another 
man and has been divorced by him. Such a person is called 
' one who makes lawful ' {mustahal, mustakil), and the practice 
is generally held to be disgraceful.'' If a woman desires divorce 
and the husband is ready to grant it, he begins by refusing, 
but finally makes the condition that if she insists upon it he 

1 Burton, Siiidh Revisited, i. 340. Cf. Lane, AN. 11. 210. 

2 Bray, 81. ' Ain, i. 327. 

^ Cerisus Report, India, 1901, i. 447. « Ibid. 1911, i. 246. 

« ERE. vll. 868 f. ; Hughes, 86 ff. ; Lane, ME. 1. 124 ff. 
' Mishkat, 11. 122 f. ; Burton, AN. ill. 175 ; Lane, AN. 11. 287 f. ; 
ME. i. 124. 229 ; Muir, Life, 325 f. ; Sale, Koran, 27. 


will agree, but that she must abandon her settlement. As 
she has no alternative she generally agrees. After the irrevoc- 
able form a man may not cohabit with a slave girl as in the case 
of a free woman, and she needs to wait only two menstrual 
periods instead of three. In divorcing a wife a man must 
wait till the menstrual period has ended, and then without 
touching her announce the divorce. Should she be in child 
he must wait till she is delivered, and if he pleases, the mother 
must nurse the infant for two years. After arranging the 
settlement, that is after the Nikah rite but previous to con- 
summation, if a man wishes to divorce his wife, he must pay 
her half her settlement, but if he pay the whole it is more 
commendable. The above statement represents the practice 
of Sunnis in south India, but there is great diversity of custom. 
The Shi'a divorce law is more rigid than that of the Sunnis : 
the husband must be an adult of understanding, the divorce 
must be express and repeated in Arabic in the presence of at 
least two witnesses. According to the Koran ^ a period of 
probation {'iddat) must be observed by the divorced wife before 
marrying again — ^three months after divorce, and in the case 
of a widow, four months and ten days after the death of her 
husband. But many women prefer a life of widowhood, and 
when they do remarry their status is often that of a second 
rank wife (dola), when the service (nikah) only is read and there 
are no rejoicings [shadl), which are only allowed in the case of 
a virgin bride. Among the hill Baloch divorce is effected by 
casting a stone seven or three times and dismissing the wife.^ 
Afghans cast in succession three stones on the ground, saying 
' once divorce, twice divorce, thrice divorce ' [yak taldq, do 
taldq, sih taldq). ^ Among the Shiranni Pathans divorce is 
usually a repurchase of the wife by her father or guardian, who 
repays, as a rule, not more than half the set sum, less dowry, 
received for her, and if the parent or guardian declines to take 
back the woman the husband divorces her and turns her 
out of the house. This means that she is expelled from the 
tribe. If any one else marries her he must pay compensation 
to her parents or guardian, and also pay the husband what he 

» Ixv. 4 ; ii. 234. ^ Rose, ii. 51. 

' C. Masson, Narrative oj Various Journeys, iii. 8. 

88 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, viii 

would have received if the parent or guardian repurchased her. 
The form of divorce is throwing three clods of earth after the 
woman .1^ 

In south India people of rank continue the rite of anointing 
with turmeric for six months, during which time music and 
feasting go on daily. The other rites are performed every 
month or fortnight, and so the marriage is completed within 
a year. Among the middle classes the rites are finished 
within eleven days or less, as follows : on the first three days 
the turmeric-rubbing or sitting in state ; on the fourth the 
sending of henna from the bridegroom to the bride, and on the 
fifth from bride to bridegroom ; on the sixth the measuring 
of the bride for her wedding dress ; on the seventh that of the 
bridegroom ; on the eighth the pot rites, the ' ladies of the 
marriage shed ', the sending of presents ; on the eleventh the 
Nikah and the exhibition of the bride ; after two or three days 
the unloosing of the wedding bracelets and resumption of the 
use of the hands, usually done on the fifth Juma'gi or Friday. 
Among the poor all these rites occupy three days : first, the 
turmeric-rubbing and measuring for the wedding dress ; on the 
second the sending of gifts and paraphernalia ; on the third 
the Nikah and the exhibition of the bride. But if they be much 
pressed for time, all these take place on one day, a rite being 
performed every hour or so. In north India the marriage 
ceremonies usually last for three days : first the procession 
with gifts ; second the henna rite ; third the procession of 
the bridegroom to fetch the bride.^ In Gujarat the rites extend 
over a longer period, but last for a much shorter time than in 
southern India. ^ 

1 Rose, ill. 411. " Mrs. Meer Hassan All, 197 ff. 

« BG. ix, part 1, 162 ff. 



Genekally about four or Ave days before the approach 
of death the sick man executes a written agreement (wasiqa) 
or a will {waslyat-nama), in which he disposes of his property 
and appoints an executor (wasiy), only one being required. 
It is not necessary that the will should be in writing, but it 
must be certified by two male witnesses, or by one male and 
two females.^ 

When he is about to expire, a learned reader of the Koran 
is summoned and asked to recite in a loud voice the Yasin 
chapter of the Koran (xxxvi), which the Prophet called 
' the heart of the Koran ' {qalbu-l-qufan), in order that, as 
Musalmans believe, the living principles of his whole system 
should be concentrated in his head,^ the result of which is 
death. It is said that when the spirit was commanded to 
enter the body of Adam, ' the Chosen One of God ' (safiyu-llclh) 
— on whom be the Peace ! — the soul looking into it once 
said ' This is an evil, dark place, and unworthy of me ; it is 
impossible that I can occupy it '. Then the Just and Holy 
God illuminated the body of Adam with ' lamps of light ', and 
commanded the spirit again to enter it. It went a second time, 
beheld the light, and seeing its future dwelling said ' There is 
no pleasing sound here to which I can listen '. Oriental 
mystics say that this was the reason why the Almighty created 
music. The spirit, delighted with the music, then entered 
Adam's body.* Commentators on the Koran, expositors of the 

* See the account of Musulman death rites in ERE. iv. 500 ff. 

2 For the law of wiUs, ibid. vii. 877 ; Baillie, 623 ff. 

3 Frazer, OB., Taboo and Perils of the Soul, 252 ; Hindus believe 
that, at death, the soul departs through a suture (brahmarandhra) in 
the skull (Monier- Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 4th ed., 291). 

* For other legends about the creation of Adam, see Sale, Pre- 
liminary Discourse, Koran, 4, 228. 

90 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

Hadis or Traditions, and divines state that the melody thus 
produced resembled that of the Sura Yasin, and hence this 
chapter is recited at death to tranquillize the soul. The 
'comfortable words' {kalimatu-t-taiyih) and the 'word of 
testimony ' {kalimatu-sh-shahadat) are also recited with an 
audible voice to those present. The patient is not required 
to repeat the Kalima or Creed himself, because he usually lies 
insensible and camiot speak. But the pious retain their 
faculties and power of converse till the very last. It is an 
important rule that if any one desires the patient to repeat the 
Creed, and he expires without being able to do so, his faith is 
held to be doubtful, but the man who so directed him incurs 
guilt. It is, therefore, preferable that those present should 
recite the words, in the hope that the dying man by hearing 
them may recall them to his recollection, and repeat them 
either aloud or mentally. In general, when a person is dying 
they pour sherbet down his throat to facilitate the exit of the 
soul, but some, though rarely, substitute water from the holy 
well Zamzam. ' The death agony is supposed to be the final 
temptation of the arch-fiend, who greets the thirsty soul as 
it leaves the body with a cup of sweets. If the soul falls into 
the snare the cup is dashed aside and the tempter disappears '.^ 
' The Recording Angels, ffiramu-1-katibin, sit one on a man's 
right shoulder, noting down good deeds, and the other on the 
left taking note of evil deeds. Every night, as the man sleeps, 
they fly up to Heaven, and record on his leaf in the tree of life, 
called Tuba', his acts of the day. Each person has a leaf to 
himself, and when the end approaches the leaf drops off the 
tree, and the Recording Angels carry it to 'Azrafl or 'Izrall, 
the Angel of Death, who forthwith dispatches them and a third 
Angel back to earth, to show the dying man his life account. On 
reading it, according as the balance is struck for or against him, 
he dies happily or in torments '.^ 

The moment the spirit has fled the mouth is shut because, 
if left open, it would present a disagreeable spectacle,^ and the 
eyes are closed with a pledget of cotton, held in its place by 

» BG. ix, part 2, 168. ^ Thorbum, 167 ; ERE. x. 606. 

' The real reason is probably to prevent a demon from entering the 
corpse (Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of the Soul, 125). 



a cloth wound round the temples. The two great toes are 
brought into contact and fastened together with a thin strip 
of cloth to prevent the legs from remaining apart .^ In northern 
India Shl'as put pomegranate or honey syrup in the mouth of 
the dead.2 In Gujarat leaves of marjoram, a plant held sacred 
by Musalmans, are rubbed on the face, and pastilles of aloe 
wood {'lid batti) are burnt close by.^ 

Certain euphemisms are employed to denote the fact of 
death. Thus we read of the Emperor Babur that he ' departed 
from this fleeting world for his everlasting abode in Paradise '.* 
To die is ' to make a transference ' {intiqal kariul, farmdna) ; 
' to make a departure ' {rahlat karnd, farmand) ; a person is 
dead, ' on whom God has shown mercy ' (marhuni). 

If death occurs in the evening the shrouding and burial take 
place before midnight ; if at a later hour and the articles 
required are not immediately procurable, the corpse is buried 
early next morning. Despite the risk of vlvisepulture, immediate 
burial is the Semitic rule.^ According to the Traditions Muham- 
mad said, ' Be quick in raising up the bier, for if the dead man 
have been a good man it is right to bear him to the grave 
without delay, and if bad, it is frowardness ye put from your 
necks. When any of you dieth, you may not keep him in the 
house but bear him quickly to the grave '.« The popular 
belief is that if a good man be quickly buried the sooner he 
will reach Paradise. If he was a bad man he should be speedily 
buried in order that his unhappy lot may not fall upon others. 
It is well that the relatives should not weep over-much or go 
without food. 

There are professional. washers of the dead {ghassdl ghdsil, 
murdashu), who wash and shroud the dead for payment. 
Sometimes, however, the relatives perform the duty them- 
selves. A hole is dug in the ground to receive the water used 
in the washing, because some people think it dangerous to 

1 The object is probably to prevent the ghost from ' walking ' 
(Frazer, JEAI. xv. 66 ; Thurston, Castes, iv. 494 ; Lane, AN. ii. 337). 

2 NINQ. ii. 139. 

* Enthoven, Folklore Notes, Gujarat, 137. 

* Elliot-Dowson, v. 187. 

= Gen. xxiii. 1-4 ; Burton, AN. iv. 145 ; Lane, 3IE. ii. 253. 
« Mishkat, i. 387. 

92 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

tread on such water, and some women will not venture near the 
place during the washing.^ The corpse is placed on a bed, 
plank, or straw, stripped and laid on the back with the head 
to the east and the feet west, the face pointing to the Ka'ba. 
It is covered with a covering cloth (satrposh), reaching in the 
case of a man from the navel to the calves of the legs, for a 
woman from the chest to the feet. Sunnls, unlike Shl'as, use 
warm water, and in the water the leaves of the jujube tree 
{ber, zizyphus jujuba) are boiled. According to the Traditions 
the corpse should be washed in pure water in which the leaves 
of the Lote tree {sidr, rhamnus spina christi, or r. nabeca) 
are mixed. At the last washing a little camphor is used ; hence 
Persians dislike camphor because it is used in disinfecting the 
dead.2 The washer draws a cotton bag, used like a glove, over 
his hand, and with a clod of earth begins the purification. 
He rubs the abdomen four or five times and then pours plenty 
of water and completes the cleansing with soap {sdbun), soap 
pods (sikakdi, acacia concinna), and soap-nut (ritha, sapindus 
mukorosi). More than one bag is used in the operation. Then 
the rest of the body is washed, but this is done gently because, 
though life has departed, the body is still warm and is thought 
to be sensible to pain. This is the greater ablution (ghusl), and 
it is followed by the lesser (wuzii''), purifying the mouth and 
nostrils and washing the arms up to the elbows. They never 
put warm water into the mouth or nostrils, but clean them with 
pledgets of cloth. Bits of the same material are used to stop 
up the mouth and nose, and the whole of the face is washed, 
•the hair and beard being cleansed with fuller's earth, mainly 
consisting of silica and known as Multani mitti, in Sind met, in 
Persia gil-i-sar-shui, ' head-cleansing clay '.^ 

Water mixed with jujube leaves and camphor in a large 
new pot is poured over the corpse from a water pot with 
a spout {badhni) three times, first from the head to the feet, 
then from the right, and finally from the left shoulder to the 
feet. Every time the water is poured the washer or some one 
present recites the 'word of testimony' (kalimatu-sh-shahddat) : 

1 Cf. ERE. iv, 417. 

2 Mishkat, i. 370 ; Burton, AN. ii. 399 ; xi. 68 ; Rose, i. 876 f. 
^ Watt, mm. Prod. 329 f. 


' I bear witness that there is no God but God, Who is One and 
has no co-equal ; and I bear witness that Muliammad is His 
servant and is sent from Him ! ' The body is then wiped dry 
with a piece of new cloth, or a clean white sheet is thrown over 
it and rubbed so that the remaining moisture dries up. Among 
the Shi'as of Lucknow the corpse is washed in a tent or behind 
a screen (qanat), pitched near the tomb or in a place where 
water is procurable. ^ Pounded camphor is rubbed on the 
hands, feet, knees, and forehead, these parts having been 
rubbed in the daily acts of prostration during prayer. The 
Brahul ' in the old days would anoint with henna, as though for 
a bridal, the hands and feet of women cut off in their prime, 
in token that death had come upon them before the fullness of 
their days, or ever they had drunk deep of the sweet joys of the 
world. But the custom is on the wane, and it is only in noble 
houses and among the well-to-do that you will now see the like '.^ 
The Brahui also lay an iron bar on the belly of the dead to 
keep down the swelling, and place a pot of rice or other grain 
by the head, which is the fee of the washer.^ In southern India 
poor people pay the corpse washer a fee of four annas, others 
from fifty to a hundred rupees, and the author has seen them 
obtain in this way a pair of shawls, brocades, and other 
valuables. These people desire the death of some great man 
so that they may receive money and clothes. Many wealthy, 
ignorant people have a horror of a corpse, and refuse to touch 
the clothes and furniture used by the deceased before death. 
These things are, therefore, given away in charity to the 
washers, who dispose of them in the bazars. 

The shroud (kafan) consists of three pieces of cloth for a man, 
five for a woman.* Those of a man are, first the cloth (izdr, 
lung) reaching from the navel down to the knees or ankle- 
joints. This is torn in the middle to the extent of two-thirds, 

1 Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 73 ; cf . Lane, ME. ii. 253 f. 

2 Bray, 121 f. 

3 Ibid. 122. This is intended to repell the Jinn (Lane, AN. ii. 337 ; 
Burton, AN. ix. 21). In parts of England a plate of salt is laid on the 
corpse for the purpose, it is said, of checking decay (J. Brand, Observa- 
tions on Popular Antiquities, 1848, ii. 234). 

* At Satara in the Deccan the shroud is seventy-five feet long for 
a man, ninety feet long for a woman {BG. xix. 133 f.). 

94 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

the two divisions covering the legs being tucked under them 
on both sides, the upper part left entire covering the fore part 
of the pelvis, the sides tucked under to left and right, and the 
ends tied behind. Secondly, the shirt (qamis, kurtd, alfd, 
pairdhan), reaching from the neck to the knees or ankles, 
having a slit made in the middle through which the head is 
passed, and drawn down before and behind. Thirdly, a sheet 
or envelope {lifdfa), reaching from the head to below the 
feet. Women have two additional pieces : a breast-band 
{slnaband) extending from the arm-pits to above the ankle- 
joints, and a veil (ddmani), which encircles the head once 
and has its two ends hanging on either side. The first or 
chief cloth is called the shroud {kafan), and religious sentences 
should be traced with the clay of Mecca on the part which 
covers the breast. Various perfumes, such as rose water 
(gulab), otto of roses (Htr) and powder (abir), are sprinkled over 
the body, which is then covered with a sheet, the skirts of which 
are tied together at both ends to that on which the body lies. 
Finally, a shawl or some such covering is thrown over the upper 
sheet, a Koran belonging to the MuUa is placed at the head of 
the bier, and the body is ready for interment. There are, of 
course, differences of practice according to the wealth of the 
family. Though there may be plenty of cloth in the house it 
must not be used for the shroud, and the materials must be 
bought lest another death should follow. The practice of 
pilgrims dipping the shroud which is intended for their burial 
in the water of the well Zamzam at Mecca is now confined to 
people like the Sudanese, Indians, and some Algerians.^ 

In the Deccan the manner of shrouding is as follows. Having 
placed the shroud clothes on a new mat and fumigated them 
with the smoke of benzoin or benjamin, and sprinkled them 
with perfumed powder, essence of roses, or rose water, the 
sheet is first spread on the mat, then the loin-cloth, above that 

' Leeder, 218. The shroud was sometimes assumed by persons in 
danger of death, as in the case of the rebel, Malik Qasim Barid, who 
presented liimself before Sultan Quli Qutb Shah of Golkonda (1512-43) 
wearing a shroud, and with a sword slung round his neck, imploring 
pardon (Ferishta, iii. 347). White and green are the usual colours of 
the shroud, or any colour save blue, but white alone in India {ERE. 
iv. 501). 



the body-cloth, and on the top the breast-cloth. In the case 
of a woman the head-cloth is kept separate and tied on after- 
wards. The corpse is carefully brought from the washing- 
place and laid on the shroud-cloths. Antimony (surma) 
is applied to the eyes with a tent made of roUed-up paper, with 
a ring (chhalla), or with a copper coin. Camphor is rubbed on 
seven places : the forehead including the nose, the palms of 
the hands, the knees, and great toes. After this the shroud- 
cloths are put on in the order in which they lie. The shroud 
must be white, no other colour being allowed. It is, however, 
admissible to spread a coloured cloth over the bier (jandza, 
tahut), or on the coffin {sanduq, sunduq), because after the 
funeral, or after the recitation of the Fatiha on the fortieth 
day, tills is made over to the Faqlr who is in charge of the 
cemetery, or it is given in charity. The coffin is a square 
box the length of the corpse, but when the latter is removed 
the coffin is brought home. Among the poor a coffin is some- 
times not used. In the case of a man his turban is often laid on 
the coffin. 1 

After shrouding the body they tie one band across the head, 
a second below the feet, and a third about the chest, leaving 
about six or seven fingers' breadth of cloth above the head and 
below the feet to admit of the ends being fastened. Should the 
widow be present they undo the head-cloth and show her the 
face of the dead. She is asked to remit the settlement which 
he had made on her, but it is preferable that she should do this 
while her husband is alive. If the widow be absent she should 
remit it when she receives news of his death. If his mother be 
present she says ' The milk with which I nursed thee I freely 
bestow on thee '. This is done because a person is considered 
to be under an obligation to his mother, and this debt she 
remits in this way. But this is merely a custom of the country 
and not prescribed by the Law of Islam. Over the corpse a 
flower-sheet (phul kd chddar) is laid, or merely wreaths of 
flowers with some perfumed powder. In Gujarat the widow 
breaks her glass bangles at the death of her husband according 
to the Hindu practice, but among the Mochi or cobbler caste 
she continues to wear a red handkerchief.^ Then the Fatiha is 

1 Manucci, iii. 153. * BG. ix, part 2, 78. 

96 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

recited with the Qui texts : ^ ' Say, God is One ! Say, I seek the 
protection of the Lord of the Daybreak ! Say, I seek the pro- 
tection of the Lord of Men ! ' This recital confers on the dead 
the rewards attached to these texts. When this is done the 
body is raised with the mat on which it lay and placed on a bed, 
and a sort of bier (dold) is made by constructing an upper 
framework of bamboos, or, if they can afford it, it is placed 
in a coffin. In the United Provinces ShI'as cover the coffin 
with a cloth and place a canopy over it, the coffin being usually 
thrown away after the funeral. In Gujarat a shawl is laid over 
the bier, of green or other dark colours for men, red for women.^ 
It is a common custom, in order to baffle the ghost and prevent 
it from returning, to remove the corpse, not through the house 
door, but through an opening in the wall, as was done at the 
burial of the Emperors Akbar and Shahjahan.^ 

Four or five relations or friends carry the bier on their 
shoulders, being every now and then relieved by an equal 
number of bearers, some touching it with their hands and 
repeating the Creed or the Benediction. The funeral procession 
moves at a rapid pace to avoid the evil spirits which beset the 
soul until the interment.* It is highly meritorious to follow 
the bier and that on foot, this being one of the imperative 
obligations (farz kifdi) ; ^ but if one out of eight or ten persons 
present perform this duty it is held to be sufficient. People 
who meet a funeral should rise and follow for at least forty 
yards. No one, however, should walk in front of the corpse, 
as this space is left for the angels who precede it. The 
service is generally performed in a inosque in preference to 
a grave-yard, which is held to be polluted. The service should 
be recited by the ' owner ' of the corpse, that is, the nearest 
relative, but if he is not present or is illiterate any other person 

• Qvl means 'say'. The texts are chapters 112, 113, 114 of the 

2 BG. ix, part 2, 169. 

3 Smith, Akbar, 327 ; Manucci, ii. 126 ; iv. 431 ; Frazer, The Belief 
in Immortality, i. 452 f. ; Crooke, Popular Religion, ii. 56. 

* It may also be intended to puzzle the ghost and prevent its return 
{ERE. iv. 426). The Jews hasten the funeral to avoid the Shedim, 
or evil spirits (Hastings, Diet. Bible, i. 332). 

3 Mishkat, ii. 413. 


present at the request of the relatives performs the duty. The 
QazI or his assistant is appointed to bury the friendless poor. 

The form of the service is as follows. First, some one calls out, 
as they do at the summons to daily prayer, ' Here begin the 
prayers for the dead (as-saMiu-l-jandza) \ On this summons 
all persons within hearing should go to the spot. Those 
present stand in three rows, the Imam or leader in front, 
opposite the head of the corpse, if it be that of a man, and in 
line with the waist in case of a woman. The service consists 
of four recitals of the Takbir or Creed, ' God is very Great ! ', 
the DurM or supplication, and the Du'a or prayer for forgive- 
ness. The Imam recites the ' Intention ' (niyat), the notice 
that he intends to begin the rite. Placing his thumbs on 
the lobes of his ears he calls out ' God is Great ! ' Then he lays 
his right hand over the left a little below the navel, the con- 
gregation doing the same. Without removing his hands he says 
the prayer (du'd), the blessing or ejaculation {subhdn), reads the 
second Creed and in like manner the third and fourth. After 
which he calls out again the words ' God is Great ! ' Then 
turning his face over the right shoulder so that the congregation 
may be able to see him, he repeats the same words, adding 
' The Peace be upon you and the Mercy of God ! ' Those 
present repeat the Creed and the Salutation (saldm) with the 
Imam. After that the ' owner ' of the corpse calls out ' All 
have permission to depart ! ' (rukhsat-i-'dmm), meaning that all 
except relatives and close friends may leave. 

The Fatiha for the dead is again recited, and the bier is 
raised and taken to the grave. One or two persons, relatives 
or others, descend into the grave to lay the body down, while 
two take the sheet that covered the body, twist it round, 
and lifting up the body put it under the waist. Then standing, 
one on each side of the grave, they hold on by the two ends, and 
with the help of two or three at the head and as many at the 
feet, they hand the corpse to the men who have descended into 
the grave. They lay the body on the back with the head to the 
north and the feet to the south, turning the face to the west- 
ward towards Mecca, the Qibla. Some turn the head in that 
direction, others the right side including the head.^ Each 

» Burton, AN. ix. 27. 



98 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

person present takes up a little earth and recites mentally or 
in a whisper the words ' Say He is God alone, God the Eternal ! 
He begetteth not and He is not begotten, and there is none 
like unto Him ! ' Or this verse ' From it [the earth] we have 
created you, and unto it we will return you, and out of it we 
will bring you forth a second time ! ' ^ The earth is then gently 
replaced in the grave, or arranged by those who have descended 
into it. 

It is sometimes the habit to place messages or prayers with 
the dead. At the funeral of a Bohra a prayer for pity on his 
soul and body addressed to the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, 
or 'Azrail is placed in- the dead man's hand.^ Fh'oz Shah of 
Delhi writes : ' Under the guidance of the Almiglity I arranged 
that the heirs of those persons who had been executed in the 
reign of my late lord Muhammad Shah, and those who had been 
deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand, or foot, should be recon- 
ciled to the late Sultan and be appeased with gifts, so that they 
executed deeds declaring their satisfaction, duly attested by 
witnesses. These deeds were put into a chest which was 
placed in the Daru-1-aman [the house of peace] at the head of 
the tomb of the late Sultan, in the hope that God, in His great 
clemency, would show mercy on my late friend and patron, 
and make these persons feel reconciled to him '.^ 

The grave, which is usually dug beforehand, is about four 
cubits square, with a hole in the centre as nearly as possible the 
size of the body.* In some cases a small wall of brick or clay, 
about a cubit and a half high, is erected, leaving sufficient 
room for the corpse. Over this, to prevent the earth from 
pressing upon the body, planks, slabs of stone, or large earthen 
pots are placed resting on the grave wall, and upon these the 

» Kord7i, cxii ; xx. 57. ' BG. ix, part 2, 31. 

3 Elliot-Dowson, ill. 385 f. ; Ferishta, i. 464. Compare the Egyptian 
custom of placing copies of the Book of the Dead with the corpse 
(A. Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, 315 f. ; EBE. iv. 462). Hindus do 
the same in the case of a Lingayat priest (BG. xxi. 209 ; xxiv. 132), and 
cf. Skeat-Blagden, Pagan Races oj the Malay Peninsula, i. 410 ; ii. 93. 

■* Musalmans always inter the dead. A curious Hindu case is reported 
of the Darshaniya sect in the time of Akbar, who used to tie uncooked 
grain and a burnt brick round the neck of the corpse, fling it into water, 
take it out and burn it at a place where there was no water {Ain, i. 207). 


earth is filled in, the surface is smoothed with water, and it is 
formed in the shape of a tomb. After the body has been 
placed in the grave some people lay planks obliquely over it, 
one of their ends resting on the right, the other on the left side, 
and over these mats are spread to prevent the earth from falling 
into the recess containing the body. A more elaborate arrange- 
ment to prevent the pressure of the earth upon the body is to 
make a side chamber (baghli, lahd) on the east side of the 
grave, level with its bottom and the length of the body. When 
the corpse is placed in this side-chamber, the entrance of it is 
closed with mats or wood, and the grave is filled up.^ 

Some people during their lives select a suitable spot and have 
a grave made lined with bricks and mortar, which is a viola- 
tion of a precept of the Prophet. Like those of the Greeks and 
Romans,^ the tomb is often built on the side of a road because 
the dead long to be near the sound of busy human life. Others 
have a mausoleum (maqbara) built over it, or merely surround 
it with a wall in the form of a square, or they fill up the grave 
with sand or some kind of grain, generally wheat or rice, a 
south Indian custom which does not seem to prevail in the 
north, and is possibly a survival of the rite of feeding the dead. 
When the owner dies they bury him in it and make a structure 
(ta'tviz) over it with square stones. 

The rule for digging a grave is that if it be intended for 
a woman the depth should be the height of a man's chest, 
for a man the height of the waist. The reason for this assigned 
by the Brahul is, ' that the nature of a woman being so rest- 
less, without a large proportion of earth upon her she would 
not remain quiet, even in the grave '.^ In general, grave- 
diggers dig the grave without measuring the length of the 
corpse, allowing four, or four and a half, cubits for its length 
and one and a half for its breadth. If it is intended for 
a particularly tall person or for a child they measure the body. 

' The side-chamber grave, probably a survival of cave burial, is used 
by the Hindu Lingayats (Thurston, Castes, iv. 286). For its affinity to 
the Egyptian form see A. Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, 310 ff. ; 
Sir G. Wilkinson, The Ancient Egyptians, 1878, iii. 436 ; Lane, ME. 
ii. 265. 

2 W. Smith, Diet. Antiquities, ii. 644, 647 ; ERE. ii. 29 ; iv. 506. 

3 C. Masson, Narrative of Journey to Kalat, 433 f. 


100 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

When laying the body in the grave, should the space prove 
to be too small the ignorant consider the dead person to have 
been a great sinner and think the circumstance very unlucky. 
The grave-diggers receive as their fee from eight annas to 
five rupees, according to the means of the family, but wealthy 
people give much more by way of a present. It is customary 
for the grave-digger, without any further remuneration, to 
plaster and smooth the surface of the grave-mound, which 
he does before the visitation (ziydrat) on the third day. The 
Faqlr who lives in the cemetery, except in the case of the 
graves of the friendless dead, never allows a grave to be dug 
without claiming a fee of from one to a himdred rupees from 
the relatives. This forms his means of living. The cloth 
which was spread on the bier becomes his perquisite, but he 
spreads it on every visitation day up to the fortieth, when 
he appropriates it. Some people, besides this cloth, have 
coloured sheets constantly spread on the grave. Poor people 
who cannot afford to raise a tomb simply smooth the surface 
of the grave. In northern India ^ they make graves of earth, 
broad at one end and narrow at the other, in the shape of 
a cow's tail or the back of a fish, and pour water on it in 
three longitudinal lines, so that it leaves a mark something 
in this form : 

In pouring the water they begin at the feet and end at the 
head, where they leave the water-vessel inverted, and stick 
a twig of the sweet basil {ocymum basilicum), or pomegranate 
tree, near it in the earth. In Arabia and othe'r Musalman 
countries it is not customary to pour water on the grave, but 
if a hurricane blows they sprinkle some water over it to prevent 
the dust from blowing about. The Baloch, probably to pre- 
vent damage to the corpse by animals like jackals, heap dry 
brushwood on the grave, which is removed after six months, 
and then the grave is marked out with white stones. ^ 

1 The author does not state the part of northern India where this 
custom prevails. ^ Rose, ii. 52. 


DEATH 101 

After the burial the Fatiha is recited in the name of the 
dead. As they return home, when about forty paces from 
the grave, they recite the Fatiha in the joint names of all the 
dead in the cemetery, this being known as the Da'ira or 
' cemetery ' Fatiha. At this juncture two Angels, Munkar 
and Nakir, ' The Unknown and the Repudiator ', examine the 
dead man, make him sit up, and inquire who are his God and 
his Prophet, and to what religion he belongs. If he has been 
a good man he replies to these questions, but if he was a bad 
man he becomes bewildered and sits mute, or he mumbles 
out some incoherent words. In the latter case the Angels 
severely torment him and beat him with a spiked club (gurz). 
According to some Musalmans, at the present day Munkar 
and Nakir visit the graves of infidels and non-Muslims, while 
Bashshir, ' news-bringer ', and Mubashir, ' giver of good news ', 
come to those of Musalmans.^ When the Angqls make the 
interrogatory {sudl), if the dead man has been a Kafir or 
infidel, a Munaflq or hypocrite, or one of the wicked, he is 
attacked by ninety-nine snakes, and he sees Hell through 
a hole in the side of the grave. The next torture is the 
' squeezing of the tomb ' (fashdr-i-qabr), when both sides of 
the grave press upon the sides of the dead man. Finally, the 
Ruh or soul is taken from the body and cast into the dungeon 
(s^ijn) reserved for reprobates. Those who die in the odour 
of sanctity are merely sleeping, not liable to death or decay 
like ordinary sinners.^ In the case of a good man 'Azrail, the 
Angel of Death, sits at the head of the grave and says, ' O pure 
soul ! Come out to God's pardon and pleasure ! ' ^ After the 
rites at the cemetery every one, according to his means, 
distributes grain, salt, bread, and money to beggars and Faqirs 
in the name of the dead. Those who have attended the final 

^ Burton, AN. viii. 44. The Bannuclils place a few inches in front of the 
corpse a stone tablet on which the creed is engraved, because when Munkar 
and Nakir arrive fright often causes the memory to fail (Thorbum, 169). 

2 Burton, Sindh, 275, 391 ; Hughes, 27 f. On the state of the soul 
between death and the judgement, see Sale, Preliininary Discourse, 
sect, iv, Koran ; ERE. v. 376. Musalmans in the Panjab object to 
beat a brass tray as it is supposed to disturb the dead, who believe 
that the Day of Judgement has come (NINQ. i. 16). 

3 Mishkat, ;. 365. 

102 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

rites accompany the friends of the deceased to their houses, 
where they recite tlie prayer of good iirtent (Fdtiha niyat 
khair) in the name of, and for the benefit of, the family, and 
console the master of the house, recommending to him patience 
and comfort, and then depart. Sometimes before they leave 
they are offered some drink, such as curds or buttermilk. 
Sometimes relatives and friends send food from their houses, 
because it is not usual to cook anything in the house till the 
third day after a death .^ 

Tombs are generally made of clay, stone, or brick and mortar, 
or sometimes a single stone is hewn into the shape of a tomb, 
forming three oblong or square platforms {ta'wiz), one or one 
and a half cubits in height or somewhat less. Above that, 
if for a man, they make a platform about a cubit or more in 
height, resembling the hump on a camel's back or the back of 
a fish, in breadth one or one and a half spans. Royal tombs, 
of course, are built on a more magnificent pattern. For 
instance, that of Akbar has at the bottom a plinth, above this 
a platform with leaf ornament, above that a smaller plain 
plinth, while above this is, again, a projecting platform with 
leaf decoration, and the upper surface is enclosed by a low 
screen of marble tracery .^ If the tomb is that of a woman the 
length and breadth of the tomb are the same as for a man, but 
in height it is less, being from four fingers to a span, and flat 
in shape. The platform {ta''wiz) of a boy is of the same type as 
that of a man, but in height it is less, and that of a girl like that 
of a woman, only smaller in size. Some people erect a lamp- 
holder {chirdghddn, chardghddn) at the head of the tomb, on which 
lamps are lighted on Thursday or Friday evenings. In northern 
India tombs of men are distinguished by a segment of a cylinder 
called a ' pen-box ' (qalaniddn), raised on the flat upper surface, 
while those of women have a flat upper surface in shape like 
the wooden boards (takhti) on which children are taught to 
write. Many stone tombs have an oblong hollow on the top 
which is often filled with earth, or in the case of saintly women 
devotees sometimes fill the hollow with the sediment of pounded 

* Possibly through fear that the ghost may be eaten with the food 
(Frazer, JRAI. xv. 91 ff.)- 

^ Syad Muhammad Latif, Agra, Historical and Descriptive, 168 fE. 







sandalwood .1 On the tomb of Jahanara Begam (1645-80), 
daughter of Shahjahan, and a disciple of the Saint Miyan Mir, 
which is situated in Old Dellii, a recess is sunk in the upper 
side of the marble block, in which grass is planted. On it is 
inscribed the verse, ' Let green grass only conceal my grave ; 
grass is the best covering of the grave of the meek '.^ In the 
Ibrahim Rauza at Bijapur the men's tombs are distinguished 
from those of the ladies by the arched ridge-stones along the 
top, the ladies' tombs being quite flat, the ridge-stones being 
said to represent the pen-box indicating a learned person, 
and hence in the seventeenth century a man.^ In south India 
Shi'as make tombs for men in the same shape as Sunnis do for 
women, and for women like those of the Sunni tombs for men, 
but with a hollow or basin in the centre of the upper part. 
Some have a stone erected inscribed with the name of the 
deceased, either alone or in conjunction with that of his father, 
together with the date, year, month, week, day, on which he 
died. Some have this inscribed in verse or prose on the four 
walls of the tomb. A few have the name and date of death 
engraved on a square stone tablet fixed over the entrance door 
of the mausolexmi, or they write it in ink over the door. In 
Afghanistan on Shi'a graves stones with engravings of shields, 
swords, or lances marking the profession of the deceased are 
found, and in Kurdistan the figure of a warrior is painted 
on a wooden memorial.* Among the tribes on the north-west 
frontier the Orakzai Pathans place over the grave a tombstone, 
carved or plain, according to the means of the family. Occa- 
sionally a piece of wood, two feet long by six inches broad, is 
substituted for a tombstone, and in some cases these are rudely 
carved and decorated with figures of birds. A man's grave has 
only two tombstones, one over the head and the other over the 
knees. The graves of MuUas have a white flag on a stick at the 
head and a waterpot (kuza) in the middle, while those of a 
martyr (shahid) also have a flag.^ The Indo-Musalman 

1 PNQ. i. 38, 121. 

2 Fanshawe, Delhi Past and Present, 239 ; Jadunath Sarkar, Life of 
Aurangzib, iii. 158 f. 

^ H. Cousens, Bijapur and its Antiquities, 71. 

* Masson, op. cit., ii. 275. = Rose, iii. 182 f . 

104 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

cemeteries are, as a rule, carelessly protected, and the graves 
are left in a ruinous condition, trespass by people of other 
religions and by animals not being prevented. 

The Prophet is said to have reproved a woman for lamenting 
over a grave, and he at one time forbade, at another permitted, 
the visiting of graves, especially by women.^ Sikandar Lodi 
of Delhi (1489-1517) forbade women to go abroad or to make 
offerings at Musalman shrines.^ Aurangzeb issued orders 
against the roofing of buildings containing tombs, the white- 
washing of sepulchres, and the visits of women to cemeteries, 
while Firoz Shah (1351-88) prevented women from visiting 
tombs on the ground that it led to immorality.^ But natural 
feeling has made the custom general in India. Some believe 
that the ghost remains near the tomb, with liberty, liowever, 
of going where it pleases, a belief which they support by the 
Prophet's custom of saluting graves, and his affirmation that 
the dead heard these salutations. Hence arose the custom, 
common among Musalmans, of visiting the tombs of their 

On the third day after the burial, the rites known as those of 
the third day (tijd), the visitation {ziyarat), the flower offering 
{phul charhdnd) are performed. On the second day they take 
fruit, food, betel, a sheet made of flowers, sweetmeats, per- 
fumed powder (argajd) and benzoin pastilles ('wt? batti) ^ and 
lay them on the spot where the death occurred. On the third 
day early in the morning the male relations and MuUas take 
these things to the grave and have a recital of the whole 
Koran {khatm-i-qufdn) done by the MuUa, once, twice, or 
oftener, in order to transfer the benefit to the soul of the 
dead. This is done by distributing four or five sections, of 
which there are thirty, to each of the readers, who thus get 

1 Mishkat, i 391, 401, 403 ; Lane, ME. ii. 271. The Prophet himself 
used to visit graves, and the practice is recommended by Muslim theo- 
logians as a religious exercise {ERE. iii. 734). 

2 Ferishta, i. 587. 

•■' Jadunath Sarkar, jL»/e o^ Aura'ngzib,\n. 101 ; Elliot-Dowson, iii. 380. 

* Sale, Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 55. 

^ These are made of benzoin, wood aloes, sandalwood, rock lichen, 
patchouli, rose malloes, leaves of talispatri (flacourtia cataphracta), 
mastic, sugar candy, or gum (EB, xiv. 350). 





II— I 





through the work rapidly.^ Rich people employ fifty or more 
MuUas for this purpose. Wlien this is done they spread a white, 
red, or other coloured sheet on the grave, lay the flower sheet 
over that, and burn pastilles of benzoin or aloeswood. Each 
man throws a few flowers into the perfumed water, and with 
prayers for the remission of the dead man's sins they rub the 
powder on the grave over the place where the head and 
breast of the corpse rest. The Fatiha is recited, and the food 
is distributed to the Haflz, or those who know the Koran 
by rote, the MuUas, Faqlrs, and the poor. Grain, salt, and 
money are also given in alms. Then having recited the prayer 
for all the dead who rest in the cemetery {Mira fatiha) they 
return home. In Gujarat friends and relations meet at the 
mosque, where each of them from small books reads a chapter 
of the Koran, praying that the merit of the act may pass to 
the soul of the dead. A Maulavl or learned doctor preaches 
a sermon (loa'z), after which a tray full of flowers and perfumed 
powder and oil is handed to the guests. Each one as it passes 
picks out a flower, dips it into the oil, and the whole is poured 
on the grave. Before leaving the mosque, and again on 
arriving at the house of the deceased, prayers are offered for 
his soul and a dinner is sometimes provided. Visits of condo- 
lence ('azd) are paid about this time to the bereaved family .^ 

For nine days after a death most people cannot eat or drink 
at the house of the deceased, nor invite the members of it 
to feasts. Brahiil widows neglect washing and care of their 
persons for fifteen days after their husbands' deaths, and at 
the end of that period their friends bring them the powdered 
leaves of a plant with which they wash their heads and cease 
mourning.^ Musalman mourners do not eat meat, fish, or 
savoury food, a local custom not prescribed by the Law. On 
the ninth day at noon the mourners prepare bread and sweet- 
meats, and after reciting the Fatiha, eat and send some to 
their neighbours. In the evening there is a dinner, part of 
the food being given to the Faqir of the burial-ground and to 

1 In Persia sheets of the Koran are distributed, so that the recital 
may be quickly done (Morier, Haj i Baha, 303). 

^ BG. ix, part 2, 189. For the custom on the North-west Frontier see 
Thorbum, 148 f. * Masson, Journey to Kalat, 434. 

106 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

other Faqirs. It, is a custom of the vulgar never to cat any 
food cooked in their own houses after partaking of the funeral 
feast, and when they receive a share of it they do not allow it 
to be brought within doors, as they say that it deprives them 
of the power of speech, but this, says Ja'far Sharif, is merely 
fancy. The visitation {ziydrat) at the grave on the tenth day 
differs little from that of the third. Some people prepare 
food and distribute what remains. This is done also on the 
nineteenth day when, after reciting the Fatiha, they take 
a flower-sheet to the grave, spread the sheet on it, and rub 
sandalwood on the sheet. Among Shi'as in northern India 
similar rites are done on the third (tijd), the tenth (daswin), 
the twentieth (biswin), and the thirtieth {tlswdn) days. 

Dark blue is the mourning colour, black that of the 'Abbas- 
side Khalifas. Mourning dress, however, is not favoured, and 
when it is worn it is by women, not by men.^ Widows observe 
the period of seclusion {Hddat) for four months and ten days 
after the death of their husbands, during which they never 
leave the house nor join in amusements. In Gujarat other 
customs have been borrowed from Hindus, such as the breaking 
of the bangles of the widow and mother of the deceased. 
The mother may get new bangles, but, except when they are 
of gold or silver, the widow when she marries again can never 
wear bracelets or a nose-ring. When a woman friend visits 
a widow for the first time she breaks into a wail and the widow 
joins in the lamentation until she is soothed. This is known 
as ' the face hiding ' {munh dhdnknd).^ 

Prayers for the dead are not universal, but the Prophet is 
said to have recognized the practice. If they are said there is 
no prostration {sijda), but there are recitations of the Koran.'' 
Wahhabis strongly object to prayer for the dead.* 

On the thirty-ninth day food such as the deceased was in 
the habit of eating during his life is cooked and placed with 
perfumed powder (argajd), antimony {surma), lampblack 
{kajal), betel, and some clothes and jewellery of the deceased 

1 Burton, AN. i. 140 ; ix. 113 ; Pilgrimage, ii. 16 ; Lane, AN. i. 118 ; 
ME. ii. 271. - BG. ix, part 2, 170. 

3 Burton, AN. i. 337 ; ix. 193 ; Hughes, 471 ; Lane, AN. i. 382. 
' Sell, 109. 


on the spot where the death occurred, and over them a flower 
garland is hung from the ceiling. This rite is known as 
' filling the side chamber of the grave ' {lahd bharna). Some 
silly women believe that on the fortieth day the ghost leaves 
the house, if it has not done so previously, and that if it has 
left it returns on that day, notices the things which have been 
laid out, eats of such of them as it fancies, swings on the 
flower wreath, smells the sandalwood, and then departs.^ 
On that day they keep vigil (ratjagd), and if any reciters of 
the Koran or of dirges are present these are recited. But 
these ideas about the return of the soul and eating food are 
contrary to the Law of Islam. During the forty days a cup 
(abkhord) of water and bread are laid out on the place where 
the death occurred. The water is left there all night, and next 
morning it is poured out at the root of a green tree, the bread 
and the cup being given to some Faqir. A lamp is generally 
lighted at the place of death, where the body was washed, 
and sometimes on the grave for three, ten, or forty nights, 
this being a Hindu practice.^ Every evening a cup of water 
and some food are sent to the mosque, and any one, after 
saying the Fatiha in the name of the dead, may eat of this 
food. On the morning of the fortieth day a visitation (ziydrat) 
is made to the grave. In Sind the higher classes usually 
employ a reverend teacher, the Akliun or Akliiind, to read 
the Koran at the grave for forty days, and even the poorest 
people try to do this for a week or a fortnight. Among the 
literary classes it is common for a man to recite the Koran in 
the presence of the dead for many years after his decease.^ 

On the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth month after a death 
— women generally observing these rites a few days before 
the expiry of these periods — it is usual to cook food, to eat 
it after the Fatiha has been said, and to distribute the 
remainder. Well-to-do people in the name of the dead give 
charity in money and clothes, and lay a flower-sheet on the 
grave. Women sometimes visit the grave, and it is meritorious 
for men to recite the Fatiha there every Friday, but most 

» On food for the dead, see ERE. vi. 65 ff. 

- Frazer, OB., Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 65 ; Crooke, Popular Religion, 
n. 55. 3 Burton, Sindh, 280. 

108 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, ix 

people do this on Thursday. After the first year the dead 
man is numbered with the sainted dead of the family, and the 
Fatilia is said conjointly for them at the Shab-i-barat or on 
the 'Arafa or vigil of the Baqar 'Id festivals. In Egypt the 
tomb is visited on the 'Idu-1 fltr and palm branches are laid 
on it.^ 

The following is the time usually occvipied for the perform- 
ance of religious and social rites, for which leave is generally 
given to Musalman sepoys : (a) Domestic rites^ — Chhathi, 
Chilla, 'Aqiqa, Mundan, Salgirah, Bi'smillah, Ivhatn, Koran 
ka hadlya,. Baligh bona, Jahaz ki nazr, Murld bona — not 
more than a day and a half ; Shadi, or marriage, ten days, 
but if time presses, five days are sufficient ; Juma'gl, one 
day ; on the death of a relation three days, i.e. until the first 
visitation (ziydrat). 

{b) Religious rites. Muharram, thirteen days, but if pressed 
for time ten days ; Akliirl-char-shamba, a day and a half ; 
Barah-wafat, a day and a half ; Dastgir ki gyarahwin, one 
day ; Zinda Shah Madar ka 'urs, a day and a half ; Qadir 
ka 'urs, a day and a half, but only one day to those at a distance 
from his shrine, who merely perform the rite of lamp-lighting 
{chiraghan, chardghan) in his name ; Maula 'Ali ka 'urs, a day 
and a half ; Sha'ban ki 'Id, two and a half days ; Ramazan ki 
'Id, in the month Shawwal, deserves no leave ; Banda Nawaz 
ka Chiraghan, one day ; Baqar 'Id, two days. 

1 Lane, ME. ii. 211. 



Islam, ' resignation to the will of God ', denotes the religion 
taught by Muhammad, the Prophet. In it is included the 
observance of five primary duties (Hbddat) : bearing witness 
that there is but one God ; reciting daily prayers in His 
honour ; giving the legal alms ; observing the feast of Rama- 
zan ; making the pilgrimage to the holy places at least once 
in the lifetime of the worshipper. Other definitions of these 
duties include : the recital of the Kalima or Creed ; Namaz 
or prayer ; Roza or fasting ; Zakat or almsgiving ; Hajj or 
pilgrimage.^ In Persia they are understood to include six 
obligations incumbent on every believer : Salat ^ or prayer ; 
Sa'im or fasting ; Hajj or pilgrimage ; Khams, tithes, literally 
' a fifth part ' ; Zakat or alms ; and, under certain circum- 
stances, the necessity of the Jihad or war against the infidels.^ 
Iman or belief includes six principles : belief in God, in His 
angels, in His books, in His apostles, in the Last Day, in 
predestination by Gk>d. 'Amal or practice includes : recital 
of the Creed ; prayer at the five stated periods during the 
day ; the observance of the Ramazan feast ; the pilgrimage ; 
the legal alms. An Indian Musalman writer states that the 
chief articles of the Faith are : belief in the Unity of God ; 
in His angels ; in His books, these including with the Muham- 
madan the Christian and Jewish scriptures, the followers of 
the two latter religions being known as Ahlu-1-kitab, ' believers 
in the books ' ; in His prophets ; in His government of the 

' The lesser pilgrimage (^umra), contrasted with the greater pilgrimage 
(hajj), is confined to the special rites at Mecca, which are meritorious, 
but not equal to the Hajj. Hajj means ' a festival, visit to a shrine ' 
(ERE. i. 668). 

2 The word saldt was borrowed from Jewish or Christian sources 
(Margoliouth, Mohammed, 102). 

3 Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 464. On the obligation of 
the Jihad see Hughes, 243 ff. ; ERE. vii. 880 f. 


world ; in good and evil as coming from Him ; in the Day 
of Resurrection.^ Din, another important term, has a wide 
range of meanings which may be summed up as ' practical 
religion '. 

The Musalman Creed (Kalimatu-sh-shahadat) runs : La 
ilaha ilia 'illahu : Muhammadan Rasulu 'Hah, ' There is no 
God but Allah : Muhammad is the Apostle of God.' 

Sunnis generally offer prayer in a mosque (masjid), usually 
under the guidance of an Imam ^ or leader, if such a person 
can be procured. Shi'as usually offer their prayers alone. 
The presence of a learned man is highly desirable, but if they 
cannot find one they pray alone. Almost every Shi'a keeps 
a piece of the sacred earth of Karbala (khak-i-Karbald), a city 
in Al-'Iraq, the scene of the martyrdom of Husain, upon 
which they place their foreheads when they offer prayer. 

Sunnis observe the prescribed forms of prayer, as described 
below. The Shi'a prays three times : Fajr before sunrise ; 
at noon when he repeats the Zuhr and 'Asr prayers, and at 
sunset when he says the Maghrib and 'Isha prayers. Some 
of them also say the Tahajjud or midnight prayer. Bohras 
' in prayer differ from both Sunnis and Shi'as, in that they 
follow their Mulla, praying aloud after him, but without 
much regularity of posture. The times for commencing their 
devotions are about five minutes later than those observed 
by Sunnis. After the midday and sunset supplications they 
allow a short interval to elapse, remaining in the mosque mean- 
while. They then commence the afternoon and evening 
prayers, and thus run four services into one.' ^ A clear 
distinction is marked between Du'a, or private supplication, 
and the Salat, or liturgical mosque service. According to 
some authorities prayer should not be said in a bath, as it 
is the resort of the Jinn. It is, however, usually the custom to 
recite the Ruku'tain or ' two-bow ' prayer after religious 
ablution in the hot weather, but this is improper (makruh), 
without being sinful, to the members of the HanafI sect.* 

* BG. ix, part 2, 126 ; Sale, Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 50 f. 

^ The Imam is the Khalifa, or substitute for the Prophet, or for 
Allah {EEE. vii. 878 f.). 

* Census Report, Berar, 1881, p. 70 f. " Bunon, Pilgrimage,!. 70. 


The Farz or obligatory prayers may be said in any place 
however impure, but the Sunnat or traditionary and the Nafl 
or supererogatory prayers are improper, though not actually 
unlawful, if said in certain places. The terms imposing 
duties are : ' forbidden ' (hardm) ; ' required ' {farz, wdjib) ; 
' recommended ' {mandub, mustahabh) ; ' indifferent ' {mubdJi) ; 
''disliked ' (makruh). 

The following are the times of prayer : i. Fajr kl namaz, 
Salatu-1-fajr, or morning prayer, is said from 5 a.m. to sunrise. 
Siiould this hour unavoidably pass without prayer having 
been offered, the same prayers should be said at any other 
convenient time ; and although the same blessing will not 
attend a prayer that has been omitted at the proper time, it 
should nevertheless be said, and not altogether neglected, 
ii. Zuhr kl namaz, Salatu-z-zuhr, Namaz -i-pe shin, or midday 
prayer, between 1 and 3 p.m. iii. 'Asr ki namaz, Salatu-l-'asr, 
Namaz-i-dlgar, or afternoon prayer, from 4 to 4.30 p.m., or 
till sunset, iv. Maghrib ki namaz, Salatu-l-maghrib, Namaz- 
i-sham, or sunset prayer, at 6 i).m. or immediately after 
sunset. This is of special importance, and it should not be 
delayed beyond that time. v. 'Isha kl namaz, Salatu-l-'isha, 
Namaz-i-khuftan, or prayer when night has closed, at bed- 
time, between 8 p.m. and midnight. Should a person, how- 
ever, be unavoidably kept awake by business or amusement 
beyond that period, he may say the prayers any time before 
daybreak. Members of the HanafI sect wait till the whiteness 
and red gleams of the west have totally disappeared, and 
the other three orthodox sects wait only till the ruddy light 
has waned. '^ 

The above five times of prayer are obligatory (farz). 
Besides these there are others known as ' traditional ' {sunnat) 
and ' supererogatory ' {nafl), which are observed by more 
religious and devout persons : Salatu-l-'ishraq, Namaz-i- 
"ishraq, 'Ishraq kl namaz, about 7.30 a.m. ; Salatu-z-zuha, 
Namaz-i-chasht, Zuha ki namaz, before noon, from 9 to 11 a.m., 
or, if there be not leisure, at any time before svmset ; Salatu- 
t-tahajjud, Namaz-i-tahajjud, Tahajjud ki namaz, at midnight 
or at any time before daybreak ; Namaz-i-tarawfli, prayers of 

1 Burton, AN. xi. 99. 

112 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

rest, sometimes applied to the prayer said daily at 8 a.m., 
but more particularly to prayer, usually of twenty bows, 
recited at night during the month Ramazan. It is so called 
because the congregation sit down and rest after every four 
genuflections and every second Salutation or Salam.^ 

Many are the blessings promised to those who fast during 
Ramazan, the ninth month. Among others the Prophet, 
Muhammad Mustafa, ' The Chosen ', — on whom be the 
Peace ! — ^has said that only those who fast will be privileged 
at the Last Day to enter Raiyan, ' one whose thirst is 
quenched ', one of the eight doors of Paradise, and that the 
effluvium proceeding from the mouth of him that fasts is 
more grateful to God than the odour of roses, ambergris, 
or musk. During the fast eating, drinking, and sexual con- 
gress are forbidden, as well as the use of betel leaves, tobacco, 
or snuff. If, however, the observance of any of these rules 
be inadvertently neglected, the fast still holds good. But if 
neglected intentionally the offender must expiate his guilt 
by the manumission of one male slave (ghuldm) for every day 
that he broke the fast. This rule is now obsolete since the 
abolition of slavery in British India .^ If he cannot afford to 
do this he must feed sixty beggars, and if that likewise be 
beyond his means he must, independently of fasting during 
the month Ramazan, fast for sixty days together, any time 
after, for every day that he has broken the fast. And he 
must add one day for the day he broke it ; then and then 
only will he receive the reward of the fast. 

Those who observe this fast breakfast between the hours 
of 2 and 4 a.m., this meal being called Sahar, Sahargahi, 
' daybreak ', and take food in the evening immediately after 
evening prayer. During the time appointed for this fast, 
kettledrums (naqqara) are beaten in the mosque, and in large 
cities the royal band (naubat) plays to give warning to those 
who fast that they should rise and eat. During that time 

» MishMt, i. 277 fE. ; Hughes, 628. 

^ Slavery, as far as established by law, was abolished in India by 
Act V, 1843, but the final blow was dealt on January 1, 1862, when the 
sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with the question came into 
operation (Sleeman, Rambles, 282 ; Balfour, Cycloj)aedia of India, iii. 
672 fif.). 


some Faqirs come to Musalman houses, beg and recite verses 
of admonition and advice to wake people from their sleep. 
When the house people rise they give them something to eat, 
and at the hearing of the Friday sermon or bidding prayer 
(khutba) they give them, according to their means, a rupee or 
two and some clothes. On the first day of Shawwal, the 
tenth month, comes the Ramazan kl 'Id, or Ramazan celebra- 
tion, when every one who fasts before going to the place of 
prayer {Hdgdh) should make the customary fast offering 
(roza kl fitrat), which consists in distributing among a few 
Faqirs some 5 lb. of wheat or other grain, dates, and fruit. 
For until a man has distributed these gifts or the equivalent 
in money, the Almighty will keep his fasting suspended between 
Heaven and Earth. These gifts must be given by the head of 
the house for himself and each member of his family, slaves 
not excepted, but not for his wife or grown-up sons, since the 
former should give them out of her marriage portion, and the 
latter from their own earnings. It is the divine command to 
give alms (zakdt),^ a word meaning ' purification ', annually 
of five things : money, cattle, grain, fruit, merchandise, 
provided these things have been in the possession of the giver 
for a complete year. The duty is not incumbent on a man 
who owes debts equal to or exceeding the whole amount of 
his property, nor is it due on the necessaries of life, such as 
dwelling-houses, clothes, furniture, cattle kept for daily use, 
slaves employed as servants, armour or weapons for present 
use, books of science or theology, or tools used by craftsmen.- 
The rates are as follows : The Sahib-i-nisab, or owner of an 
estate of Rs. 80, pays 1 in 40, or 24 per cent. ; an owner of 
cattle, such as sheep or goats, need give no alms till they 
number 40 ; from 40 to 120 inclusive, one sheep or goat ; 
121 to 200, two animals ; above that a sheep or goat for every 
100. Alms on cattle are : from 5 to 25, one sheep or goat ; 
26 to 35, a yearling female camel ; 36 to 45, a two-year-old 
ditto ; 46 to 60, a three-year-old ditto ; 61 to 75, a four-year- 

' See Hughes, 699 ; BaiUie, 555. 

- Alms were given from the earliest period in Islam, but the 5^early 
tribute was prescribed when the State was organized (Margoliouth, 
Mohammed, 413). 


114 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

old ditto ; 76 to 90, a two-year-old ditto ; 91 to 120, a three- 
year-old ditto ; 121 and upwards, a two-year-old female camel 
for every 40, or a three -year-old female for every 50. In the 
case of cows and bullocks : if he possesses 30 cows, a one- 
year-old calf ; 40, a two-year-old ditto ; and so on, a one-year- 
old beast for every 10. Should he possess 1,000 cows, taking 
their average term of life at 14 or 15 years, as many cows are 
to be given as will, by their combined ages, make up 100 years. 
The alms for buffaloes, male or female, are the same as that 
for sheep. For horses the rate is like that for camels, or 
instead of that the Traditions direct that a dinar, or denarius, 
which should be worth about half-a-sovereign, but varies in 
value and does not now represent any current coin,^ is to be 
given for every horse the value of which exceeds Rs. 100. 
No alms need be given for riding -horses or for beasts of burden. 
For grain and fruits planted in land watered only by the rain, 
one-tenth part ; if irrigated from a tank or well, one-twentieth 
part. For articles of merchandise, provided the owner is 
Sahib-i-nisab, or well-to-do, the rate on capital and profits 
is 1 in 40 ; for gold bullion half a misqal, the Roman aureus 
and gold dinar of 73 grains, ^ for every 20 misqal weight ; 
for silver bullion 2 J per cent, provided it exceeds the weight 
of a rupee, 1 tola, 3 drachms, or 179 grains ; for minerals, if 
the value be upwards of 240 dirhams, each worth about 5rf., 
a fiJth is to be given, and if the capital is invested in business, 
alms are to be given on the profits.^ 

The legal alms may be given to the following classes : 
pilgrims who are unable to defray the cost of their journey ; 
Faqirs and beggars ; debtors unable to pay their debts ; 
champions in the cause of God ; travellers who are without 
food ; proselytes to Islam. It is only the very poorest of these 
classes who are entitled to the grant, religious mendicants 
never accepting any provision of this kind. Alms are not to 
be given to Sayyids, unless they particularly desire assistance, 
nor to the rich, to near relations, or to slaves. It is considered 

1 Yule-Burnell, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 317 f. 
 Ibid. 568. 

3 BaiUie, 554 ff. ; Hughes, 699 f. ; Sell, 218 ff. ; Sale, Koran, Pre- 
liminary Discourse, 79. 


disgraceful for Sayyids, descendants of the Prophet, to beg, 
but there is a class of Sayyid beggars in Gujarat.^ 

It is incumbent on Sunnis, both men and women, to under- 
take the pilgrimage to Mecca and Mount 'Arafat, Shi'as to 
Karbala or Mashhadu-1-Husain and Mazar-i-sharif in Afghan 
Turkistan, the burial place of 'All, at least once during their 
lives, provided they have means to pay their expenses and 
maintain their families in their absence. He who makes 
pilgrimage for God and does not talk loosely or act wickedly 
shall return free from faults as on the day when he was born. 
If he be of the Hanafi sect he may appoint a deputy in case 
he desires to make the pilgrimage but is prevented through 
sickness or by fear of an enemy. Or if a- rich man or prince, 
without any excuse, sends another person to perform the 
pilgrimage on his behalf, he gains the merit of it. A woman 
going on pilgrimage must have a guardian (mahram) — her 
father, brother, husband, son, or some relation within the 
prohibited degrees. Though the poor are not obliged to 
perform the journey, many families go to the holy places in 
bounty (faiz-i-billclh) ships, on which charitable people supply 
them with food, drink, and a couple of pieces of cloth, each 
five cubits long, transport them thither and bring them back. 
In recent years the British Government has taken measures 
to ensure the comfort and safety of pilgrims by supervising 
the transport service, providing rest-houses and hospitals at 
Jeddah, and by appointing representatives to assist travellers. 

On arriving near Mecca, or while still on board, the pilgrim 
{Mjt, hdjji) assumes the pilgrim dress (ihram), consisting of 
two new cotton cloths, each 6 feet long by 3J broad, with 
narrow red stripes and fringes, one {rida') thrown over the 
back, exposing the arm and shoulder, knotted at the right 
side, the other {izdr) wrapped round the loins from the waist 
to the knees or tucked in at the middle. Wlien Sultan Khwaja 
was appointed by Akbar Mir Haji or pilgrim-leader, the 
Emperor, by way of joining the pilgrimage which he was 
never able to perform, stripped himself, put on the dress 
{ihram) and walked some steps with the Kliwaja.^ In the 
time of the Prophet the circuit of the Ka'ba was made in 

» Hughes, 700 ; BG part 2, 8. - EUiot-Dowson, v. 401. 


116 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

a state of nudity, or in clothes borrowed from one of the 
rehgious communities of the holy city. Musalmans explain 
the custom of using a special dress on the ground that they 
cannot perform the rite in clothes stained by sin, but the real 
reason is different. It was because the pilgrim's own clothes 
became taboo by contact with the holy place and function ; 
he could not wear them again, but he was obliged to leave 
them at the gate of the sanctuary, hence the name ihrdm, 
root haram, meaning ' sacred ' or ' taboo \^ On the day the 
pilgrim assumes this new dress he bathes, recites a two-bow 
prayer, and puts on the two wrappers without seam, the head 
being left uncovered. He may wear wooden shoes (khardun). 
He must wear these two garments until he has sacrificed the 
victim at Mina, and has shaved and bathed. 

The pilgrim must submit to certain taboos. He must avoid 
quarrels, immorality, bad language, light conversation ; he 
must not kill game, cause a bird to fly, or even point it out 
for destruction ; he may scratch himself only with his open 
palm lest vermin may be destroyed, or a hair be uprooted by 
the nails ; he must spare trees and not pluck a blade of grass, 
abstain from the use of oils, perfumes, and unguents, from 
washing his head with mallow or lote leaves, from dyeing, 
shaving, cutting or plucking out a single pile or hair, from 
wearing clothes that are sewn, and, for the same reason, 
boots ; shade may be enjoyed, but the head remains un- 
covered. The prohibition against killing animals does not 
apply to noxious creatures, such as a kite, crow, scorpion, 
mouse, or mad dog. For each violation of these rules a sheep 
must be sacrificed. Should a person after assuming the 
pilgrim habit indulge in sexual intercourse or even kiss his 
wife, the whole merit of the pilgrimage will be lost.^ There 
are four stages (miqdt) at which the habit must necessarily 
be assumed ; on the Medina road, Zu-1-halifa ; on the 'Iraq 
road, Zatu-'arq ; on the Syrian road, Hujfa ; on the Najd 
road, Qarn ; on the Yemen road, Yalamlam.^ Some put on 

' R. Smith, Religion of Semites, 451 ; ERE. v. 65 ; Crawley, 88. 
^ On the rule of continence in holy places, see R. Smith, op. cit., 
45 ff., 481 ff. ; cf. Herodotus, ii. 64. 
» MisMat, i. 601 ; Hughes, 156. 


the sacred habit, by which is properly meant the interdiction 
of all worldly enjoyments, a month or a fortnight before they 
reach Mecca, while others defer it to the last day or two, 
each one according to his powers of self-denial. 

Immediately on their arrival at Mecca the pilgrims perform 
the minor ablution (wuzu^) and proceed to the Masjidu-1- 
haram, or the Sacred Mosque, and kiss the Hajaru-l-aswad 
or Black Stone, which is said to be an aerolite. Then they 
make a circuit of the Ka'ba, the ' Cube ', seven times, pre- 
senting the left shoulder to the sacred building,^ the first 
three circuits being with the pas gymnastique (harwala), or 
quick step, and four times by the limping pace {tarammul), 
moving the shoulders as if walking in deep sand.^ The Ka'ba 
is a square building, situated in the centre of the Baitu-1-lah, 
or House of God. The rain water which falls on its terrace 
flows through the ' water-spout of pity ' (rnizabu-r-rahma) on 
to the grave of Ismail or Ishmael, where pilgrims stand 
struggling to catch it. In the corner of the Ka'ba is the 
Alabaster Stone {ruknu-l-yamani) where pilgrims extend their 
arms, press their bodies against the building, and beg pardon 
for their sins.^ Then they go to the Station of Abraham 
{qadam-i- Ibrahim), a stone bearing the impression of the feet 
of the patriarch, repeat a two-bow prayer, and retiring kiss 
the Black Stone again. This stone is said to have been 
originally white, but by the constant touching and kissing of 
it by pilgrims it has become black. It is set in silver, fixed in 
the wall of the Ka'ba ; it is said to float in water, and whoever 
kisses it obtains forgiveness of his manifold transgressions, 
yea they fall from him as the withered leaves fall off the trees 
in autumn. On the ninth day of the pilgrimage the pilgrims 
perform the rite of running between the hills Safa and Marwa 
seven times. On reaching the top of each hill they stand for 
a few minutes with open hands raised to Heaven, and suppli- 

' Hindus perform the circumambulation of a sacred place {pradak- 
shina) in the reverse way, moving in the direction of the hands of a 
clock. For an account of the Ka'ba, see Margoliouth, Mohammed, 386 ; 
ERE. viii. 511 ff. 

^ Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 167. This is an ancient religious rite, as the 
priests of Baal limped round the altar, 1 Kings xviii. 26, R.V. margin. 

^ Burton, Pilgrirnage, ii. 303. 

118 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

cate the Almighty for whatever their hearts desire, for their 
prayers at this time will undoubtedly be heard and answered. 
The origin of this custom is as follows : When Hagar, 
BibI Hajar, brought forth Ismail — on whom be the Peace !— 
in the wilderness of Mecca, there being no water or dwelling 
there, she in her distress left the babe, ran frantically from 
hill to hill in search of water and frequently returned lest 
the child should be devoured by jackals, dogs, or foxes. 
Meanwhile the child as he was crying chanced to strike his 
heel against the ground, when water gushed out of the sand. 
Hajar made a sort of well and purified herself and the child 
by bathing in it. This is now the holji well Zamzam, called 
in Arabic Bir-i-Zamzam and in Persi&n Chah-i-Zamzam, 
zamzam meaning ' a confused noise of waters '. Pilgrims on 
their return bring some of the water with them in gugglets, 
bottles, or in cotton steeped in it. On breaking the Ramazan 
fast they drink a little of this water, or squeeze the cotton into 
common water in order that their sins may be forgiven, and 
apply a little to their eyes to strengthen their sight. They 
also drink it at other times as a meritorious act, and when 
they cannot procure much of it they dilute it with common 
water and drink it. It is likewise administered to the dying, 
either pure or made into lemonade. It is said that if anybody 
finds difficulty in pronouncing Arabic he has only to sip a little 
of this water and it will immediately become easy. The well 
at Medina, also called Zamzam, is known as the Blr-al-Nabi, 
or ' the Apostle's well '. Another reason is also given for the 
running between Safa and Marwa. It is said that in the old 
time a man and a woman were turned into stone for committing 
fornication within the temple. The Quraish tribe placed one 
of them on Mount Safa, the other on Mount Marwa, and used 
to worship them. The Prophet — on whom be the Peace ! — 
not approving of this practice, forbade it, but finding that 
his order was not observed he permitted the people to 
visit these hills in the hope that this example of God's 
vengeance would deter others from committing a similar 
crime. ^ 

* The extreme hurry and noise must originally have possessed some 
magical meaning (ERE. x. 9). 


On the 8th day of the month Zu-1-hijja or ZI-1-hijja,' the 
last nionth of the Musahnan year, the pilgrims assemble at 
Mina, where they recite prayers and spend the night. On the 
9th day of this month, the festival of the Baqar 'Id, before 
they go to Mount 'Arafat to read the prayers with the Imam, 
they recite two two bow prayers in the name of each of their 
relations, except their father, because no one can be sure who 
was his father, and friends dead and living, supplicating the 
Almighty to vouchsafe a blessing on them. After the morning 
prayer they rush impetuously towards Jabalu-l-'Arafat, 
12 miles due east of Mecca, where having recited two bow 
prayers with the Imam and having heard the sermon 
or bidding prayer (khutba) they remain on the hill 
till sunset, and then run quickly to Al-Mazdalifa, ' the 
approacher ', where they recite the evening prayer and 
stay all night. ^ 

Next morning, the 10th, they start for Mina. On their 
arrival at the Mashar-al-haram, ' the place dedicated to 
religious rites ', they stop and offer up supplications to God. 
Before sunrise they proceed quickly by the way of Satan, 
' the Troubler ', Batu-1-Muhassar, till they come to the place 
called Jamrat-al-Akaba, jamra meaning ' pelting ', or Shaitan- 
al-kabir, ' the Great Devil ', the latter being the name of one 
of the pillars, the others being called Wasta, ' Central Place ' , 
and Al-Aula, ' First Place '. At each of these three pillars 
they pick up seven small stones or pebbles, and having recited 
a prayer and blown upon them, they fling them at the pillars. 
This rite is known as Ramyu-r-rijam or Ramyu-1-jimar, 
' the throwing of the pebbles '. As they fling the pebbles 
they say, ' In the name of God, the Almighty, I do this, and 
in hatred to the Devil and his shame ! ' ^ 

The origin of this rite is as follows : As His Highness the 
Prophet Abraham — upon whom be the Peace ! — was taking 

' ' The owner of pilgrimages ', known also as Tarwiya, ' satisfying 
thirst ' ; Zu-1-qa'da, the eleventh month, meaning ' owner of truce ', 
no warfare being allowed {Encyclopaedia Islam, i. 959). 

^ Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 181, 186 £f. 

^ The throwing of the pebbles is a symbol of throwing away the sins 
of the pilgrimage, and a charm against punishment and misfortune 
(ERE. X. 10) ; and see Frazer, GB., The Scapegoat, 23. 

120 ISLAM IN INDIA chap x 

his son Ismail to Mecca to sacrifice liim,^ Satan — curses be 
on him ! — appeared to Ismail in human form and said, ' Boy, 
thy father is leading thee to sacrifice thee to idols, do not 
consent to go '. Ismail immediately informed his father who 
replied, ' O my child ! this is none other than the accursed 
Devil himself who comes to tempt and deceive thee ; do thou 
repeat the invocation " La haula wa la quwwata ilia bi' 
1-lahi 'l-'allya-l-'azim ", " There is no strength and power 
save in Allah, the High, the Great ! " and cast stones at him, 
when he will instantly depart '. After this fashion Satan 
appeared at three places, and each time Ismail repeated the 
' La haula ', and flung pebbles at him. Hence arose the 
custom that pilgrims at these places repeat ' La haula ', and 
fling the stones. 

After flinging the pebbles in these three places the pilgrims 
go to Mina to perform the sacrifice (qurbdni), which persons 
wealthy enough to be responsible for the payment of the legal 
alms (zakat) are required to perform. They must offer a ram 
or a he-goat for each member, old or young, of their family, 
or for every seven persons a camel or a cow. The flesh of the 
victims is divided into three portions : one for the relatives 
of the giver of the sacrifice, one distributed among Faqirs, 
the third reserved for the use of the giver. 

The origin of this sacrifice is thus told : Wlien Abraham — 
on whom be the Peace ! — founded Mecca, the Lord desired 
him to prepare a feast for Him. When Abraham, Khalilu-llah, 
' the Friend of God ', asked what he desired, the Lord answered, 
' Offer up thy son Ismail '. In accordance with this order 
Abraham took Ismail to the Ka'ba to sacrifice him, and having 
laid him down he made ineffectual attempts to slay him. 
Then Ismail said, ' Thine eyes being uncovered, it is through com- 
passion for me that thou causest the knife to miss my throat. 
Blindfold thyself with the end of thy turban and then slay 
me '. Abraham wondering at the boy's fortitude and wisdom 

^ Though there is evidence in the Koran (xxxvii. 101) that Abraham 
intended to sacrifice Isaac, not Ishmael, both Sunnis and Shi'as believe 
that Ishmael was the selected victim ; see Sale's note on the above 
passage in the Koran ; Hughes, 216 ; Hastings, Diet. Bible, iii. 437 ; 
Encyelopaedia Biblica, iii. 3200 f. 


pronounced a blessing upon him and did as he said. Repeating 
the words ' Bi-'ismi 'llahi '1-akbar ! ' 'In the name of Allah, 
the Great ! ' he drew the knife across his son's throat. In 
the meantime, however, the Archangel Gabriel, snatching 
Ismail from under the blade, substituted a broad-tailed sheep 
in his stead. Abraham on opening his eyes saw to his surprise 
the sheep slain, and his son standing beside him. Then he 
and his son joined in prayer, blessed God for His mercy and 
recited a two-bow prayer which every one going to Mecca is 
commanded to recite. 

After the sacrifice the pilgrims get themselves shaved,^ 
their nails pared, the cuttings of both being buried there. 
They bathe, take off the pilgrim habit, and consider the 
pilgrimage finished. The shaving and bathing at Mina are 
carried out with difficulty owing to the scarcity of water and 
barbers. Rich people out of charity get the poorer pilgrims 
shaved and bathed at their expense. A thorough shaving or 
hair-cutting is not necessary, a stroke or two of the razor, 
and a little hair clipped with a pair of scissors being sufficient. 
In bathing also it is enough if a cup of water be thrown over 
the head, or if water cannot be procured, purification {tayam- 
mum, ' intending to do a thing ') with sand or dust is enough. 

At the Mina market large quantities of goods are sold, and 
pilgrims say that the merchants are so absorbed in business 
that they have no leisure for devotion, and that with the view 
of protecting their goods they remain in their shops and 
omit to perform the rites. The day after the Aiyam-i-nahr, 
or day of sacrifice, pilgrims remain at Mina, and hence that 
day is called Aiyamu-1-qarr, ' the Day of Rest '. Some halt 
there till the 11th, 12th, and 13th day of the month, and 
these are called ' Days of Communion ' (tashrtk). On leaving 
they revisit the Ka'ba to take final leave of it, on their way 
throwing pebbles at the pillars as they pass them, and then 

I When Burton made the pilgrimage he was shaved at Marwa. After 
being shaved the pilgrims throw the skirts of their garments over 
their heads, to show that the ihram, or taboo robe, has now become 
ifdal, or normal {Pilgrimage, ii. 246). The shaving implies union with 
the Deity, a sign that some sacrifice or other religious rite has been 
performed (R. Smith, op. cit., 331). The hair is buried to prevent its 
use in Black Magic. 

122 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

perform the final circuit as already described. After the circuit 
of the Ka'ba it is necessary to proceed to Medina and visit the 
tomb of Muhammad Mustafa, ' The Chosen ', — on whom be 
the Peace ! The legend told by Christian writers, but unknown 
to Muslim tradition, that the tomb is suspended in the air 
by means of magnets, is a modern invention, probably due to 
the incorrect perspective of the popular engravings of it.^ 
He that performs the circuit of the Ka'ba and does not visit 
Medina defeats the object of his pilgrimage. 

I learn, says the author, from my esteemed friends of the 
Maulavl, Mashaikh and Hafiz classes, that some pilgrims from 
Hindostan go so far in their reverence for the holy tomb of 
the Prophet as to make prostration (sijda) before it, and do 
the respectful bows {tasllm, kornish) at it. The Arab atten- 
dants {khadim) resent this, and tell them that since the 
Prophet has not commanded that any should prostrate them- 
selves before him, such worship being due to God alone, their 
worship is improper. Some foolish people, too, at the 
Muharram festival prostrate themselves before the cenotaphs 
and standards, as also before the tombs of Apostles or Saints. 
This only shows their ignorance and folly, because if it be 
improper to pay such homage to the Prophet, it is equally so 
in the case of his inferiors. It is the duty, however, of the 
Mashaikh or holy men to make the bow of salutation (sijda 
tahiyai) to the Prophet, of the Murshid or spiritual guide to 
his parents, of slaves to their masters, and of subjects to their 
king. This bow of salutation consists in stooping forward, 
as in the bow prayers while in the sitting posture with the 
knees touching the ground, the hands tightly closed on the 
ground, and in that position the extended thumb of the 
superior should be kissed. 

Few Shi'as ever perform the pilgrimage, for two reasons, 
first, because on Mount 'Arafat, after the sermon and adoration 
to God and praise of the Prophet, they praise the three Com- 
panions, Abu Bakr, the first Khalifa, known as Siddiq-i-akbar, 
' the veracious, the very great ', 'Umar, the second Khalifa, 
known as 'Adil, ' the just ', 'Usman, the third Khalifa, known 
as GhanI, ' independent ' or Zu-n-nurain, because he married 
' E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ed. W. Smith, vi. 262. 


two of the Prophet's daughters, Ruqaiya and Unimu Kulsum 
— ^may God reward them ! — and lastly, 'All-um-murtaza, 
' the chosen ' — may God reward him ! This is so displeasing 
to ShI'as that some refuse to go on the pilgrimage. They 
would have it that 'All should be praised first. Besides this 
ShI'as refuse to recognize six other Companions — Tulha, 
Sa'Id, Sa'd, Abu 'Ubaida, Zubair, and Abdu-r-rahman bin 
'Auf.^ They cannot bear to utter the names of these six last 
Companions, and should they do so they would be obliged to 
recite the Fatiha at their tombs. These six with the preceding 
four formed the ten Companions who followed the example of 
the Prophet when, at the desire of the Archangel Gabriel, he 
turned his face in prayer from Jerusalem towards the west to 
Mecca, and of whom the Prophet declared that they had by 
this act secured Heaven for themselves. Secondly, because 
on entering the Ka'ba every one is asked to what sect 
ijama'-at) he belongs, the Sunnis alone being admitted to the 
sanctuary. Some ShI'as, however, gain admission by con- 
ceahng their sect and calling themselves Sunnis. But they 
never venture near the illustrious Medina, because there 
near the tomb of His Highness Muhammad Mustafa — on 
whom be the blessing ! — are those of Abu Bakr as-Siddlq 
and 'Umar-i-faruql, ' the Discriminator between truth and 
falsehood ' — may God reward them ! 

Many Musalmans live for years in the joyful anticipation of 
being able some day to perform the circuit of the Ka'ba ; 
nay, very many never dismiss the idea from their minds. 
Much has been said on the many blessings attending the 
pilgrimage. Amongst other things it is said that for every 
step a man takes towards the Ka'ba he has a sin blotted out, 
and that hereafter he will be highly exalted. If a man happens 
to die on the way to Mecca he obtains the rank of a martyr 
{shahid, literally ' present as a witness '), the reward of 
the pilgrimage being instantly recorded in the Book of 
Remembrance . 

The souls of the martyrs (shuhadd) are stowed away in the 

> The Companions, known as Ashab or Sahaba, were partly leaders 
(naqib) from Medina, partly leaders of expeditions. See the list in 
EB. xvii. 410. . 

124 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, x 

crops of green birds till Resurrection Day, eating of the fruits 

and drinking of the streams of Paradise .^ There are many 

modes of death which raise the dead to the rank of martyrs : 

if a man dies in the act of reading the Koran, in the act of l| 

praying, in the act of fasting, on a pilgrimage to Mecca, on 

the Friday Sabbath, in defence of the Faith, as a result of 

religious meditation, if he be executed for speaking the truth, 

if he suffer death at the hands of a tyrant or oppressor with 

patience and submission, if he be killed in defending his own 

property, if a woman die in labour or in child-bed, if a man 

be slain by robbers, devoured by a tiger, killed by the kick 

of a horse, struck dead by lightning, burnt to death, buried 

under the ruins of a wall, drowned, killed by a fall from 

a precipice or down a dry well or pit, and if he meet death by 

apoplexy or sunstroke. 

^ Koran, ii. 149. 





If any of the greater ablutions (ghusl) be required, they 
must be performed before prayer,^ Should this be not neces- 
sary, at each time of prayer the worshipper must perform the 
minor ablution (wuzu^), which frees the worshipper from 
impurity {hadas, ndpOkl), for this is the command of God. 
The rule of lustration was perhaps prescribed at Mecca, but 
however that may be it was obviously borrowed from the 
Jews, with whose teaching the ordinances established by the 
Prophet respecting ceremonial impurity and ablutions closely 

In the minor ablution the Prophet used to wash both his 
hands as far as the Avrist, each twice ; then he put water into 
his mouth, blew his nose, after throwing water into it, thrice ; 
then he washed his face thrice ; then both his arms from 
the tips of the fingers up to the elbows ; then drew both his 
hands, still wet, from the forehead to the rear of the head 
and then back again. ^ The present method follows the 
traditional rule. First, the teeth must be thoroughly cleansed 
with dentifrice {manjan) or with the tooth-stick (niiswdk). 
Then having washed both hands as far up as the wrists three 
times and gargled thrice, water must be snuffed up each 
nostril thrice, and the cavities must be cleansed by introducing 
the little finger of the left hand. Hence the rule that the 
left hand, which is used in this and other modes of ablution, 
must not be employed in taking food. Then taking up water 
in both hands the face must be well washed three times, from 
the upper part of the forehead to the chin, including the beard, 

* See ' Holiness, Uncleanness, and Taboo ', R. Smith, Religion of the 
Semites, 446 £E. ; ERE. x. 496 ff. ; Burton, AN. iv. 153. 

2 Hastings, Diet. Bible, iv. 82.5 ff. ; Encyclopaedia Biblica, i. 536 ff. 
On Musalman prayer, ERE. x. 197 ff. 

3 Koran, v. 9 ; Mishkat, i. 91 f. ; Lane, ME. i. 85 ff. 

126 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xi 

and from ear to ear. After this the arms are washed, from 
the ends of the fingers up to the elbows, first the right, then 
the left. Then a little water is poured into the palms of the 
hands, and made to flow along the forearms three times. 
It must be borne in mind that each operation is repeated 
thrice, whereas the wiping (mash) is done only once. The 
wiping is thus done. The right hand slightly wetted in water 
is drawn over a quarter, half, or the whole of the head. Then, 
if the worshipper has a long beard and whiskers, he takes 
a little water separately, wets and combs the hair with the 
fingers of his right hand, in the case of the beard moving 
them v/ith the palm facing downwards from the lower and 
back to the upper and front of it. Then putting the tips of 
the forefingers into each ear he twists the fingers round when 
the thumbs are behind the ears, and rubs them along the 
back part of the ear cartilages from below upwards, bringing 
them round the top. With the back of the fingers of both 
hands touching the neck he draws them from behind forwards. 
After that the inside of the left hand and fingers is drawn 
along the outside of the right arm from the tips of the fingers 
to the elbows, and the same operation is gone through on 
the other arm with the hands reversed. The hands are clasped 
together, the palms necessarily touching each other. This 
concludes the wiping. After that the feet and anldes are 
washed, first the right, then the left. This concludes the 
minor ablution. Lastly, the water that remains in the vessels 
{lota, hadhnd) used, in which they usually take the amount of 
water required, is drunk with the face turned to the Qibla or 
Mecca, which is considered a meritorious act. These different 
ablutions are accompanied by a number of supplications 
detailed in the sacred Mishkat,^ but owing to their length they 
have been omitted. 

The observance of this minor ablution is of great efficacy, 
for the Prophet has declared that the countenance, hands, 
and feet of him who purifies himself for prayer M'ill at the 
Day of Judgement be recognized among the crowd by their 
shining in all the effulgence of the full moon. ' Verily my 
sect will be called towards Paradise on the Day of Resurrection 

' i. 99 ff. ; Lane, ME. i. 85 S. 



with bright faces, hands, and feet ; then he amongst you 
who has power to increase the brightness of his face, let him 
do so.' ^ According to the Shafai doctrine, ablutions are 
lawful only if performed in running water, and hence in the 
time of Shahjahan a canal was dug at Sialkot to provide it .2 
It is not necessary to perform the greater ablution each time 
when one goes to prayer, but only when the body has been 
defiled in any one of the following ways : by obeying a call 
of nature, crepitus ventris, discharge of blood or matter in 
any part of the body, vomiting, sleeping, fainting, loud or 
immoderate laughter during prayer, and coitus.^ Any of 
these is enough to defile a man, and then ablution is required 
before prayer. 

If on account of illness a person cannot use water in either 
the greater or minor ablution, he may use earth for the 
purpose of purification (tayammum, ' betaking oneself ' to 
dust). If water be at a great distance, in a well from which 
there is no means of drawing it, if in procuring it there is 
risk of life, if water be scarce and a neighbour be dying of 
thirst — ^under these circumstances any one who does the 
water ablution and does not give the water to him who needs 
it is in danger of the Divine wrath. All the circumstances 
mentioned above which necessitate the water ablution apply 
also to the earth purification, and the virtue of the latter 
ceases on the sight of water. The earth purification (tayam- 
mum) is done in this way : the person recites a vow in Arabic : 
' I vow by this act of earth purification, which I substitute 
for the greater and minor ablution, as the case may be, that 
I purify myself for prayer by cleansing my body from all 
filth and corruption '. Repeating this he claps his open hand 
on sand or dust, shakes off the dust, draws his hands over his 
face, again claps his hand on the sand or dust, draws the left 
hand over the right, and in like manner the right over the 
left. The practice is authorized in the Koran : ' And if ye 
have become unclean, then purify yourselves. But if ye are 
sick or on a journey, or if one of you come from the place of 
retirement, or if ye have touched women, and ye find no 

» Mishkdt, i. 72. ^ Rose, i. 498. 

' Crawley, 200 f . 

128 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xi 

water, then take clean sand and rub your faces and your 
hands with it '.^ 

It was the command of the Prophet to proclaim the 
summons (azdn, bdng) to prayer, at the five seasons, as a warning 
to the people of the will of God and as an exhortation to them 
to flee for salvation. The call must be listened to with the 
utmost reverence ; if a person be walking at the time he should 
stand still, if lying down he should sit up, and he should reply 
to the call of the Muazzin or crier by some appropriate ejacula- 
tion, such as ' Labbaik da' watu-1-Haqq ', ' Here I am awaiting 
God's invitation ! ' 

' The summons to prayer was at first the simple cry, " To 
public prayer ! " After the Qibla was changed [from 
Jerusalem to Mecca] Muhammad bethought himself of a more 
formal call. Some suggested the Jewish trumpet, others the 
Christian bell (ndqus) ; ^ but neither was grateful to the 
Prophet's ear. The Azan or call to prayer was then estab- 
lished. Tradition claims for it a supernatural origin. While 
the matter was under discussion a citizen dreamed that he 
met a man clad in green raiment carrying a bell, and he 
sought to buy it, saying that it would do well for assembling 
the faithful to prayer. ' I will show thee ', replied the 
stranger, ' a better way than that ; let a crier call aloud, 
" Great is the Lord ! Great is the Lord ! I bear witness 
that there is no God but the Lord ! I bear witness that the 
Prophet Muhammad is the Prophet of God ! Come unto 
prayer ! Come unto Salvation ! God is Great ! God is 
Great ! " ' Awaking from sleep he went straightway to 
Muhammad and told him the dream, when perceiving that 
it was a vision from the Lord, the Prophet forthwith com- 
manded Bilal, his negro servant, to carry out the divine 
behest.' ^ Ascending the roof of a lofty house near the mosque 
while it was quite dark, Bilal watched for the break of day, 

* Koran, v. 9. 

- ' The Musulmans of Hindostan consider the Naqus, a thin, oblong 
piece of wood, beaten with a flexible rod (wabil) to be, and call it, the 
conch-shell, blown by Hindus at divine worship : they believe the Jews 
use this ' (Author's note, but this is doubtful ; see Hughes, 430). 

' Muir, Life, 189 ; for the story of Bilal, and for his last call to prayer, 
Ibid. 204, 235 ; Margoliouth, Mohammed, 222, 387. 


and on the first glimmer of light, with his far-sounding voice 
aroused all around from their slumbers, adding to the divinely 
appointed call the words, ' Prayer is better than Sleep ! 
Prayer is better than Sleep '. Musalman tradition ascribes 
the dream to a youth named 'Abdu-llah, the Kharijite, son 
of Zaid Ansari, and states that at the same time the Com- 
mander of the Faithful, Amiru-1-miiminm, 'Umar — May God 
reward him ! — ^got up and said, ' O Prophet of Gk)d ! I like- 
wise saw that same thing in my dream, and I was about to 
inform your Holiness, when I found that 'Abdu-llah bin Zaid 
had already done so '. 

The manner of proclaiming the call is as follows. At the 
proper time for prayer that member of the congregation who 
comes first to the mosque (masjid), or a man known as the 
Muazzin or crier, in western India BangI {bang, ' the call to 
prayer '), standing on an elevated platform {chahUtra) in front 
of the mosque, on a pxilpit {mimhar, minhar) or on a minaret 
(mandra), turning his face in the direction of the Qibla or 
Mecca, thrusting the points of his forefingers into his ears, 
and pressing his hands over them, calls out four times succes- 
sively, ' God is Great ! ' ' Allahu akbar ! ', twice ; ' I certify 
that there is no Gk)d but the Lord ! ' ' Ashhadu an la ilaha 
illa-llah ! ' twice ; ' I certify that Muhammad is the Prophet 
of the Lord ! ' Then turning to the right hand he repeats 
twice, ' Come to prayer ', ' Hayya 'ala-s-salati ! ' Then to 
the left twice, ' Come to salvation ! ' ' Hayya 'ala-1-falah ! ' 
Then he finishes by repeating twice, ' God is Great ! ', ' Allahu 
akbar ! ' Lastly, he says once, ' There is no Gk)d but the 
Lord ! ', ' La ilaha illa-llah ! ' In the call at the early morning 
after the words ' Come to salvation ! ' is added twice, ' Prayer 
is better than sleep ! ', ' As-salatu khairun mina-n-naumi ! ' 
Shi'as make one slight alteration by adding twice the words, 
' Come to the best of works ! ', ' Hayya 'ala khairi-l-'amali ', 
and by repeating the last sentence of the call, ' There is no 
God but the Lord ! ' twice instead of once as in the Sunni call . 
The crier having recited a supplication, ends by drawing his 
hands over his face. There are four classes of people for whom 
it is unlawful to sound the call : an unclean person, a drunkard, 
a woman, a madman. In some places a blind man is preferred 


130 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xi 

as a crier, because he is unable to overlook the neighbouring 
quarters of the women from the summit of the minaret. 

Prayer {saldt, namdz) is the second of the foundations of 
Islam. ' There are five prayers ordered by God, and whoever 
performs ablution {wuzu') for them properly and says them 
at the stated time, and exactly observes the rules and precepts 
regarding them, God has promised to forgive him on the Day 
of Resurrection '.^ 

The form of prayer is known as the bow [ruku'', rak''at), 
the inclination of the head with the palms of the hands resting 
on the knees. The periods with the necessary prostrations 
are as follows : i. From dawn to sunrise, Salatu-1-fajr, Namaz- 
i-subh, Fajr ki namaz, four prostrations, two of which are 
' traditional ' (sunnat) and two obligatory (farz). ii. Wlien 
the sun has passed the meridian, Salatu-z-zahr, Namaz-i- 
peshln, Zuhr kl Namaz, twelve prostrations, of which four 
are ' traditional ', four ' obligatory ', two ' voluntary ' (nafl). 
iii. Afternoon prayer, Salatu-l-'asr, Namaz-i-dlgar, 'Asr ki 
Namaz, eight prostrations, four recited by few {sunnat ghair 
mu''aqqada), most people reciting only the four ' obligatory '. 
iv. After sunset, Salatu-l-maghrib, Namaz-i-sham, Maghrib 
ki Namaz, seven prostrations, three ' obligatory ', two 
'traditional', and two 'voluntary', v. When night has 
closed in, Salatu-l-'isha, Namaz-i-khuftan, 'Isha ki Namaz, 
seventeen prostrations, four of which are omitted by most 
people, the generality reciting four ' obligatory ', two ' tradi- 
tional ', two ' voluntary ', three ' special ' (wajibu-l-watar), 
and two ' consolatory ' [tashaffiu-l-watar). 

The ritual of prayer is as follows : The worshipper spreads 
a prayer-carpet {musalld, jd-i-namdz, jdnamdz, sajjdda), stands 
on it with his face towards the Qibla or Mecca,^ repeats the 
prayer of deprecation or asking for forgiveness {istighfdr), and 
two ' obligatory ' prayers, proclaims his ' purpose ' {niyat) : 
* I have purposed to offer up to God only with a sincere heart 
this morning [or as the case may be] with my face turned to 
the Qibla two [or as the case may be] bow prayers, " obliga- 

1 Mishkat, i. 129. 

" The original Qibla was Jerusalem ; for the change of it to Mecca, 
see Muir, Lije, 184. 


tory ", " traditional ", or " voluntary ".' Having repeated 
the words ' Allahu akbar ! ', ' God is Great ! ' he places his 
right hand upon the left below the navel. This done, he is 
not to look about, but directing his eyes to the spot which he 
is to touch with his hand, in the posture of prostration (sijda) 
he must stand with the most profound reverence and self- 
abasement, as if in the presence of a mighty monarch. Then 
he repeats the ejaculation {ta''aivzmtz), ' I seek refuge from 
God from Satan, the accursed ! ' ; the ' naming of God ' 
(tasmiya) : ' In the name of God, the Compassionate, the 
Merciful ! ' Then follows the recital of the Suratu-l-fatiha, 
Suratu-1-hamd, the first chapter of the Koran, followed by 
any other, without repeating the ' blessing ', ' Bi'smillah ', 
' In the name of God ! ' He then comes to the bow position, 
repeats three or five times the ' ejaculation ' {Ruku' ki tasbih) : 
' Subhan illah, subhana Rabbu-l-'azim ', ' I extol the holiness 
of God ! ' Reassuming the erect position he recites : ' Thou, 
Almighty God ! Art the hearer of my praises ! Thou art my 
support ! ' Then he takes the posture of prostration (sijda), 
and repeats three or four times : ' O thou holy and blessed 
Preserver ! ', sits up and resting for a few seconds again per- 
forms the prostration and repeats the ' ejaculation ' (tasbih) 
as before. This constitutes the first bow prayer. It must 
be remembered that the assumption of each new posture must 
commence with the words ' Gk)d is Great f ' ' Allahu akbar ! ' 
From the prostrate position he assumes the standing attitude 
(qiydm), recites the first chapter of the Koran with the blessing, 
and then another without it, makes the bow, then sitting he 
repeats the ' greetings ' (at-tahiydt), or concluding portion of 
the prayers, finishing it with its accompanying part, the 
' blessing ' (durud). Then turning first to the right and then 
to the left he says the ' salutation ' (saldm) : ' The peace and 
mercy of God be with you all ! ' ' As-salamu 'alaikum, 
rahmat ilahi '. Musalmans do not after the conclusion of 
prayers repeat ' Amen ', ' Aniin ', but they invariably do so 
after reciting the Fatiha or first chapter of the Koran, and 
after ' supplication ' (miinajdt) the congregation say ' Amin '. 
Then joining his two hands from the wrists, both spread out 
and held up in line with the shoulders, he makes the ' supplica- 

K 2 

132 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xi 

tion ' {mundjdt). The manner of reciting it is as follows : 
Having raised the extended arms meeting at the wrist to 
a level with the shoulder, or rather the middle of the arm, 
with eyes half open, he should confess his sins, and ask pardon 
and mercy. He repeats that he dreads the miseries of Hell, 
and prays for protection from the crafts and subtleties of the 
Devil ; and by making use of an appropriate sentence or verse 
of the Word of God, or by some established prayer suitable 
to his case, or in his own words, in any language he pleases, 
he makes known his requests. Then drawing his hands over 
his face he ends the second prayer. 

Should the performance of four prayers have been vowed, 
it is observed with the following trifling variation. The two 
first are gone through as just described, with this difference, 
that only half of the ' greetings ' (at-tahiydt) is recited in the 
second prayer, and after pausing a while, instead of repeating 
after it the blessing and salutation, the worshipper begins 
the third prayer by rehearsing the first but beginning with 
the tasmiya, omitting the sunna and ta''awwuz, which is done 
in every prayer except the first. The third and fourth are 
repeated like the two first, but the whole ' greeting ' is this 
time recited. The above four rak''at comprehend what are 
called sunnat rak''at. 

In the three farz rak''at the two first are performed like those 
preceding, except that the chapter after the Alhamd is 
omitted, and the whole of the at-tahiydt recited in the third 
rak''at, and they conclude with the Salam. 

In the four farz rak''at there is this difference, that in the 
first and second rak''at after the first chapter of the Koran 
another must be recited, as in the preceding forms, but not 
so in the third and fourth, where the latter chapter is omitted. 
And, again, previous to the vow at the commencement, the 
Takbii- or Creed, which differs little from the Azan or call to 
prayer, must be repeated four times in succession. 

In the 'Isha, or night prayers, in the third bow of the 
' special ' or ' voluntary ' prayers, after reciting the first 
chapter of the Koran and another chapter, on assuming the 
bow position the worshipper, touching the lobes of his ears 
with his thumbs, calls out, ' God is Great ! ' Then placing 


his hands on his navel he repeats the ' prayer of adoration ' 
{(ki'd-l-qunut) . Then resuming the bow position and proceeding 
with the prostrations and blessings, he finishes as before .'^ 

It is the Divine command that when persons, male and 
female, have reached maturity and the age of discretion 
they should observe the five appointed seasons of prayer, and 
at the moment of prayer spread the prayer-carpet on a clean 
spot to the west of the worshipper and engage in devotion. 
Should a street happen to be in front of him, or a large con- 
course of people coming and going present an obstacle, he 
should place a ' mark of defence ' {satr), such as a stick two 
feet long, a sword, or anything else stuck in the ground, or 
placed in front of the carpet, in order to concentrate his 
attention. Prayer should never be neglected. If a sick 
person cannot stand up to say his prayers he must repeat 
them lying down, and if he be so unwell as not to be able to 
say them aloud he must pray mentally. However, it is only 
the pious and devout that observe these rules. Where do 
we find every one able to comply with them ? If a person be 
pressed by lack of time, as when he is required to obey the 
orders of a superior officer, the prayer may be deferred 
to a more convenient season, but never wholly omitted. 
A traveller also may curtail the four obligatory, but not the four 
traditional, by reciting only two, but a two or three bow prayer 
must not be diminished ; and he alone is deemed to be a traveller 
who has been on his journey for three days and three nights. 

After the supplication (mundjat) some recite the praises 

(tasbih) of God : ' The Great God hears whatever praises 

I offer to Him. O, my Protector, I thank Thee ! ' This is 

desirable (mustahabb), that is, the observance of it is beneficial, 

but the neglect of it is not sinful. To recite prayers with the aid 

of the rosary (tasbih) is meritorious, but it is an innovation, since 

it was not enjoined by the Prophet — on whom be the Blessing ! 

— or his Companions, but by certain divines (mashdikh). They 

use it in reciting the Kalima or Confession of Faith or the 

Blessing (durud) once, twice, or even hundreds of times. 

' It is difficult to follow this complicated ritual without much greater 
detail than that supplied by the author, and in the absence of illustra- 
tions of the successive postures, which are supplied by Lane, MB. i. 95 ; 
Hughes, 465 ff. 




There are various kinds of vows, oblations, and dedications 
{nazr o niydz). Men and women, both Shi'as and Sunnis, so 
far as they beheve in such things, vow that when what they 
desire comes to pass they will present offerings and oblations 
in the name of God, the Prophet, his Companions, or some 
Wall or Saint. For instance, if a man recovers from sickness, 
finds a lost sheep, obtains employment, is blessed with off- 
spring, if his enemy be ruined or killed, if his master be pleased 
with him, or if he gains promotion — in such cases si)ecial forms 
are observed and special food is cooked. The following are 
a few examples. 

Nazru-Uah, an offering to God. This consists in preparing 
stews with bread, distributing it among friends and the poor, 
giving grain, a sacrificed sheep, and money in alms. Some 
women make sweetmeats and cakes, offer the Fatiha over 
them, and distribute them to all comers. It is not necessary 
that the Fatiha should be said in the name of God ; it is 
sufficient at the time of making the vow to say that the 
oblation is in the name of God. It is only ignorant people 
who never dispense with this custom, or eat the food without 
saying the Fatiha over it. Such sweetmeats are called 
' offerings to God, the Merciful ' {Allah rahlm kl pindicin) or 
merely ' Mercy ' (rahm). Some do this in what is called the 
easy {asdn) way by cooking cakes with sugar and fruit and 
saying the Fatiha over them. Many prepare this ' Mercy ' 
offering and keep a night vigil with dancing and singing. 

Some women at weddings prepare food in the name of the 
Saint Pir Shitab. A married woman or a widow is bathed, 
dressed in her best, and supplied with a twisted thread on 
which nine, eleven, or nineteen knots are made. She is then 
sent to beg from all relatives and friends of the family. \Mien 
she comes to a house she calls out, ' I am going to untie the 


knots of Pir Shitab '. Then the house people throw in her lap 
some raw rice, and then she unties one of the knots. When 
all the knots have been thus untied she brings the rice back 
and the mistress cooks it in balls, one of which is sent to every 
house which contributed. Others in the name of Pir Milao 
make cakes of wheat and pulse {mothl, phaseolus aco7iitifolius), 
recite the Fatiha over them, and distribute them in the house, 
not out of doors. Some dig a fire-pit (aldwd) in the corner of 
a room and wash their hands, not as Europeans do, but by 
pouring water over them from an ewer, the water falling into 
a basin. Then they bury the food with the remnants of the 
meal and fill the hole with earth. Or they fill a pot with 
curds and boiled rice in the name of the Saint Pir Didar. 
Others in the name of Kath Bawa Sahib make a curry of a fowl 
and bake bread which is dedicated after the Fatiha has been 
said over it, and distribute it.^ 

Some women keep one to five locks (chonti) of hair uncut on 
the heads of their children and consecrate them in the name 
of some celebrated Wall or Sai;it with the words, ' I dedicate 
this to so and so, and when the child has reached such and 
such an age I vow to prepare food, offer the Fatiha, and then 
have the hair cut by a barber '. 

Others in the Deccan after their wishes have been fulfilled 
set afloat little boats (jahdz), as in the rite of Khwaja Kliizr 
described later on. Or they take one, two, or three lamps made 
of paste or clay, light them with cotton wicks soaked in 
butter, put them on an earthen or brass tray with some 
cowry shells and money, as far as they can afford, take them 
to the sea beach or a river bank, or well, recite the Fatiha 
over them and leave them there. As they are conveying 
them, shopkeepers and passers-by put cowries into the trays. 
After the Fatiha has been said, children scramble for the 
money, but the women bring the brass trays home. In 
Gujarat the officiant in such rites is the Bihishtl or water- 

In Gujarat women make the Bahlim vow, which should be 

1 The above are probably local South Indian saints, regardin " whom 
no information is available. 
^ BG. ix part 2, 152. 

136 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xii 

performed at the beginning of the rites of marriage, pregnancy, 
and initiation of children. It consists in engaging to crush 
some five poimds of live coals. This is done under the 
superintendence of a Phadali, or spirit medium. The woman 
in a state of ecstasy crushes the burning cinders with her 
hands and steps into the fire-pit where she stamps out the 
fire with her feet. If any injury occurs it is attributed to 
disregard of the rules of purity and cleanliness in cooking the 
food for the rite, or in plastering the floor of the place where 
the rite is performed.^ 

Some people on every Thursday in the year put a few 
flowers and some sugar in a leaf plate (daund) and launch it 
in the water in the name of Khwaja Khizr, and they also 
throw some cowry shells into the stream. The festival of 
the raft (berd) should be observed on the last Thursday of 
the Musalman year, but in eastern Bengal it is held on the 
last Thursday of the Hindu month Bhadon (August-Septem- 
ber), the middle of the rainy season. The raft, usually made 
of paper and ornamented with tinsel, has a prow resembling 
a woman's face with the crest and breast of a peacock, in 
imitation of the figure-head on the bow of the Morpankhi 
boat, or ' peacock- winged ', a barge used in festivals on the 
Ganges. This effigy placed on a raft of plantain leaves is set 
afloat at sunset. The festival is specially popular on the river 
Bhaglrathi at Murshidabad. The person launching the craft 
deposits on the bank a few slices of ginger, a little rice, and two 
or three plantains which are usually snatched up by some 
beggar.2 In other places poor people lay on an earthen plate 
two bundles each of a hundred betel leaves with five areca 
nuts in each, a little sugar folded up in plantain leaves, two 
lamps fed with butter, with five, nine, or twenty-one cowries 
in an empty water-pot, and go to the river bank. There they 
light the lamps, have the Fatiha said in the name of Khwaja 

1 BG. ix, part 2, 151. Bahlim is a name applied in the United 
Provinces to sections of castes, like the Banjara, Blhishti, Nai, Shaikh, 
and Tell ; but it is not known how the name came to be applied to this 
vow in Gujarat. 

2 Wise, Notes, 12 f. Frazer regards these customs as means of 
periodically expelling evils {GB., The Scapegoat, 198 ff.). 


Fi^ / 

Zuc/lAa . 

CHAP, xn vows AND OBLATIONS 137 

Khizr by the Mulla, who gets the cowries as his fee, and as 
they float the plates in the water, children scramble for the 
contents. In the end the person who has made the vow fills 
the water-pot from the river, brings it home and breaks his 
fast with a mouthful of the water. In the same way they put 
on their children various articles of jewellery in the names of 
Saints and other holy men. 

It is a general custom when a person is about to travel, or 
when evil befalls him, to tie a copper coin and a metal ring 
in a bit of cloth dyed with turmeric in the name of the personal 
guardian, the Saint Imam Zamin,^ and to wear this tied on 
the left upper arm. When the traveller reaches his destination 
in safety, or gets rid of his trouble, he takes off the coin, and 
sometimes adding something to it, buys sweets, or makes 
cakes or stew, and offers the Fatiha in the name of the Saint. 
Learned people beside the offering to the Almighty {nazru- 
llah), or that in the name of the Prophet (niydz-i-rasul), or 
the Fatiha in the name of Hazrat Shah or 'All, or the Saint 
PIr Dastaglr, give other oblations, such as the viaticum or 
provision for a journey (tosha) in the name of the Saint Ahmad 
'Abdu-1-haqq of Radhaull. They make sweets, and those 
who are specially devout prepare and eat them themselves, 
never giving any to smokers of tobacco or to women. In the 
same way they make and distribute food in the names of the 
Saints Shah Sharaf Bu 'All Qalandar, Shah Sharafu-d-din 
Yahya Munari, Ahmad Khan and Mubariz Klian. 

They also prepare an offering {tosha) in the names of the 
Ashabu-1-kahf, ' the Companions of the Cave ', the Seven 
Sleepers.^ It is said that seven brothers, Aliklia, Maksalimta, 

1 Zamin means ' one who is responsible for another, or enters into 
bail for him '. Imam Zamin kd rupaya means ' a rupee worn as a pro- 
tective against disaster or death ' ; see Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 136 ; 
Rose, i. 874. 

^ For the famous tale of the Seven Sleepers, see Koran, xviii, with 
Sale's notes. The Prophet did not know the exact number of them : 
' Some say, " They were three ; their dog the fourth " ; others say, 
" Five ; their dog the sixth ", guessing at the secret ; others say, 
" Seven ; and their dog the eighth ". Say, my Lord best knoweth the 
number ; none, save a few, shall know them ' {Koran, xviii. 22, 23). 
For this legend see Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ed. W. Smith, iv. 188 ; 
Pvydberg, Teutonic Mythology, 479 £E. ; EB. xxiv. 709 f. ; ERE. iii. 458. 

138 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xii 

Tabyanas, Kashfutat, Adargat, Yunas, Yuanus, were devoted 
to each other, and the most virtuous of the children of Israel, 
and they had an affectionate dog, Qitnilr. In the name of 
these seven they take out seven plates of food, recite the 
Fatiha over them, eat some and distribute the remainder. 
A special plate is reserved for the dog, which is not placed 
with the rest but given to a dog to eat. 

ShI'as prepare breakfast (hdziri) in the name of His Holiness 
'Abbas 'All, 'Alambardar, or standard-bearer, step-brother of 
Husain, by cooking and distributing food, but to none save 
Shi'as. In fact, after the Fatiha they revile the Companions 
of the Prophet before they eat the food. Most women vow 
food in the name of Imam Ja'faru-s-sadiq, the Veracious, 
the sixth Imam — ^May God be pleased with him ! — by dis- 
tributing cakes. Some women make the Kandurl^ or offering 
to Bibl Fatima by making various kinds of food in secret, 
because this being the lady's food, it is improper that any 
men should see it, and only respectable, virtuous matrons 
partake of it. The Fatiha must be said over it behind a cur- 
tain. Sometimes also they do the rite of BIbl ki sahnak or 
Bibl ka basan, ' the lady's dish or vessel ', as described in 
connexion with marriage. Some women make and distribute 
food in the name of the Saint Shah Dawal.^ Some of this is 
made at the expense of the person who offers it, part is pro- 
cured by begging. The man or woman sent to beg calls out 
' Shah Dawal ' at the house door and receives some grain. 
Some sacrifice a sheep in his honour, eat some of the meat 
and distribute the rest. 

Some people when any trouble befalls them go out begging 
with their wives and children, all dressed in blue, and live on 

The tale is localized in many places, as in Babylonia, A. H. Laj'ard, 
Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, 206. 

^ Kanduri primarily means a leather or linen tablecloth. 

^ Shah Dawal was the title of 'Abdu-1-latif, son of one of the nobles 
of Mahmud Bigarha of Gujarat (a. d. 1459-1511). His title Dawaru-l- 
mulk, ' lord of the kingdom ', was changed into Dawal Shah. He 
became a disciple of Shah 'Alam Bukhari, and was slain in a. d. 1474. 
He was engaged in religious war (Jihad), and is highly venerated by 
both Musalmans and Hindus in Gujarat and the Deccan, where his 
followers observe many Hindu customs {BG. v. 89). 


what they receive as alms. When their troubles are removed 
they go home and make a vow as far as their means allow. 

Some impious women fix a day, dress themselves in men's 
clothes and have a night session (baithak). They collect 
flowers, betel, perfumes, and sweets, and get women of the 
Dom caste to play before them on the timbrel (pakhawaj) or 
the small drum (dholak). Then a woman becomes possessed 
by Shaikli Saddii,^ and as she whirls her head about foolish 
women who want something ask her how to attain it. For 
instance, a woman says ' Master ! {miyan) I offer myself 
{sadqi) to thee that I may have a child '. Then if she pleases, 
the possessed woman gives her a packet of betel leaves, some 
of the betel which she has chewed herself {ugdl) or some 
sweets, all of which she eats in perfect faith. However, God 
is Lord of all, and it depends on His will and pleasure whether 
she comes to be in child or not. If, perchance, she gives birth 
to a child, the belief of these unfortunate people in this form 
of magic is strengthened, and they become real infidels. 
Should she fail to become in child she concludes that the 
Master is angry with her, and she repeats the rite with increased 
credulity. Sensible people have no faith in Shaikh SaddU, and 
hold that he is a devil. His tomb, or rather the place where 
he disappeared, is at Amroha in the Moradabad District, 
where much noise and disturbance always goes on. 

Besides these there are other objects of suj>erstition. 
Musalmans in south India, being to a large extent converts 
from Hinduism, believe in malignant spirits, fairies, Narasinha, 
the lion incarnation of Vishnu, Mata, the Mother goddess. 
May God blacken the faces of such people ! Some, again, in 
order to obtain their wishes, pray to His Majesty Sikandar or 
Iskandar, Alexander the Great, known as Zu-1-qarnain, ' he 
of the two horns ', vowing that if their desires are accomplished 
they wiU offer horses in his name.^ Accordingly, when they 

1 Shaikh Saddu, whose real name was Muhiu-d-din, was an impious 
personage, who was finally torn in pieces by the Jinn. He is a favourite 
saint of woman (Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 375 f. ; Crooke, Popular Religion, 
i. 217 ; Dabistan, iii. 234, 325 ; Indian Antiquary, xxxiv. 125 ff. ; Rose, 
i. 638). 

^ Zu-l-qarnain, ' he of the two horns ', is Alexander the Great, an 
important personage in Oriental folklore, but he has become the centre 

140 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xii 

gain their wishes, they have little horses with their riders 
made in pottery, recite the Fatiha over them in his name, 
take them with great pomp to his shrine (astdna) and dedicate 
them there. At such places hundreds of such horses lie in 
heaps, and some J&x these horse images in front of their 
houses or over their doors .^ Hindus as well as Musalmans 
have great veneration for this personage, and it is often 
difficult to ascertain whether such places are Musalman 
shrines or Hindu temples. 

Besides these personages already mentioned, there are 
innumerable other Saints at whose shrines, especially at the 
annual celebrations of their deaths {'urs), offerings are made, 
and at many of them by Hindus as well as by Musalmans. 
The following are a few of those most generally known. 

Baba Budan was a Faqir who introduced coffee into Mysore 
in the fourteenth century. He is also known as Hayat Qalandar 
and Hayatu-l-bahr, and the Baba Budan hills, in which his 
shrine is situated, take their name from him.^ 

Baba Ghor was an Abyssinian saint who is venerated by 
the Abyssinian Sidls in Gujarat. He gives his name to the 
Babaghorl or white agates of Cambay.^ 

Baba Lai. There were several saints of this name, but the 
best known is a Hindu who became the preceptor of the 
unfortunate Dara Shukoh, brother of the Emperor Aurangzeb.* 

Bahau-d-dln Zikaria is one of the most renowned Saints 

of a mass of tradition at variance with true history. His legend is given 
in the Koran (xviii. 82-96, see Sale's note ad loc). The title is explained 
in various ways — from two protuberances on his head or helm, from 
his two long locks, from the ram horns of Jupiter Ammon, or from the 
story of Moses (Exod. xxxiv. 29, R.V. margin ; see Encyclopaedia 
Biblica, ii. 2111 ; Burton, AN. iv. 203). 

1 The dedication of horse images, to serve as coursers for the gods, 
is common. In south India the practice is coimected with the cult of 
Ayenar, who rides over the country at night, driving oft' the demons 
(Monier- Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 4th ed., 218 f. ; G. Oppert, 
Original Inhabitants of Bhdratavarsa, 504 ff.). BhUs use horse images 
in their magical rites {Census Beport, Central India, 1901, i. 53 ; BG. 
ix, part 1, 304). 

2 B. L. Rice, Mysore, ii. 374 ; Balfour, Cyclopaedia, i. 214 ; ii. 132. 
' BG. ix, part 2, 12 ; Yule-Bumell, Hob son- J oh son, 43. 

* Wilson, Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hindus, i. 347 ff. ; Census 
Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 126 f. ; Rose, i. 394 ; ERE. ii. 308 f. 


in northern India. He was born at Kotkaror in Multan, 
A.D. 1170, went to Baghdad and became disciple of Shaikh 
Shihabu-d-din Saharwardi, and died at Multan in 1266, 
where his tomb stands in the citadel. He was a close friend 
of the other great Saint, Shaikh Farldu-d-din Shakarganj. 

Dula or Daula Shah was born about a.d. 1567, and the tale 
that he met the Emperor Humayiin, who died in 1556, is an 
anachronism. His shrine is at Gujarat in the Panjab, and it 
is chiefly remarkable for the collection of deformed, idiotic 
children, known as the Chiiha or ' rats ' of the Saint, who 
congregate there.-' 

Farldu-d-din Shakarganj, ' sugar treasury ', so called 
because he is said to have been able to transmute dust or salt 
into sugar, was a disciple of Khwaja Qutbu-d-din Bakhtyar 
Kaki, born a.d. 1173, died 1265. His shrine at Ajodhan or 
Pakpattan in the Montgomery district, Panjab, attracts vast 
crowds of worshippers at his festival during the Muharram, 
from Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Qutb Minar, the 
great minaret in Old Delhi, takes its name from him.^ 

Gesu Daraz, ' he of the long locks ', is the title of the saint 
Sayyid Muhammad Sudaru-d-din Muhammad Husaini. He 
was born at Delhi in a.d. 1321, lived in the Deccan under 
the Bahmani dynasty, and died at Kulbarga or Gulbarga, 
where his tomb is visited by large numbers of votaries.^ 

Ghazi Miyan is the title of Salar Mas'ud, nephew of Sultan 
Mahmud of GhaznI. He invaded Oudh and was killed in 
battle at Bahraich in 1033 at the age of nineteen. He is 
venerated as a martyr by Musalmans, and is regarded by 
Hindus as one of the youthful heroes who are widely 

Jalal Jahanian Jahangasht, ' he that wandered over the 
world ', is venerated at Uchh in the Bahawalpur State. He 
brought from Mecca a foot-print of the Prophet and became 

1 Rose, i. 630 £f. ; Manucci, i. 117, 119. 

= Sleeman, Rambles, 494, 500 ; Ain, iii. 363 f. ; Ferishta, i. 271. 

^ Bilgrami-Willmott, Sketch of the Nizam's Dominions, ii. 669 f. ; 
Ain,m.. 372 ; Ferishta, ii. 388, 398 ; Jadunath Sarkar, Lije of Aurangzlh, 
i. 276. 

* Elliot-Dowson.ii. 513 £E. ; NINQ. ii. 109 ; Crooke, Popvlar Religion, 
i. 207 f . 

142 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xii 

the preceptor of Sultan Firoz Tughlaq (a. d. 1351-90). He 
was the founder of the Orders of the Malang and Jalaliya 

Lai Shahbaz, ' the royal hawk ', the great saint of Sind, 
was a Qalandar and rigid celibate who died at Sehwan in 
A. D, 1274. His tomb is highly venerated and every year a girl 
of the KhonbatT caste is married to it, and she is never allowed 
to contract a real marriage.^ 

Makhdum Faqlh, the great Saint of Bombay, was of Arab 
origin, born in the fourteenth century, and became law- 
officer of the Musalmans at Mahim in Thana District. His 
tomb, built close to the sea-shore, is the scene of a large 
gathering on the anniversary of his death. One of the chief 
rites is the drinking of water which has been waved over the 
tomb, and eating the ashes of incense burnt there. The 
Saint enjoys a high reputation for the cure of hysterical and 
other spirit-possessed patients.^ 

Mir or Miyan Mir, Shaikh Muhammad, flourished at Lahore 
between a. d. 1550 and 1635. His disciple MuUa Mir was 
a spiritual guide of Dara Shukoh, brother of Aurangzeb. 
The saint has given his name to the well-known military 
cantonment, Miyanmir, near Lahore.* 

Miran Sahib lived about four centuries ago, performed 
many miracles, and is buried at Nagor, a suburb of the town 
of Negapatam in Tanjore District, Madras. Crowds of pil- 
grims from long distances visit his tomb, and Hindus, even 
Brahmans, make vows there. On the ninth evening of his 
festival a Faqir sits motionless in his Dargah, and must remain 
so for thirty-six hours. ^ 

Mu'inu-d-dln Hasan Chishti, known as the Kliwaja, was born 
at Slstan, a.d. 1142, and died at Ajmer 1236. His Dargah 
or tomb is one of the great places of pilgrimage in northern 
India, and Akbar used to make pilgrimages there on foot.® 

1 Temple, Legends of the Punjab, ill. 184 ; NINQ. i. 5 ; iv. 53. 

2 Burton, Sindh, 211 f. ; IGI. xxii. 163. 

' Edwardes, Gazetteer Bombay City, iii. 301 fE. 

^ Temple, Legends of the Panjab, ii. 508 ; iii. 188 ; Rose, i. 615 f. 

* r. B. Hemingway, Gazetteer Tanjore District, i. 243. 

* Am, iii. 361 f. ; C. C. Watson, Gazetteer Ajmer- Mer war a, 17, 40 ; 
Smith, Akhar, 57, 96, 102. 





Nizamu-d-din Auliya, known as Sultanu-1-mashaikla, ' chief 
of holy men ', was one of the noblest disciples of Shaikh 
Faridu-d-dln, born at Budaun A. d. 1236, died at Delhi 1325, 
where a lovely shrine was erected to his memory.^ 

Panj Pir, the group of five Saints who give their name to 
the Pachpiriya sect, a strange mixture of Musalman and 
Hindu hagiology.^ 

Qutbu-d-dln Baklityar Kaki came from "Osh in Persia and 
died at Delhi, a. d. 1235. He is the favourite Afghan Saint, 
and pilgrims visit his shrine at Mahrauli near Delhi. ^ 

Shamsu-d-din Muhammad Tabrlzl, a famous Siifi martyr, 
who, when he was flayed, is said to have walked about carrying 
his own skin. When no one would help him he prayed to 
the sun to broil his meat, and when it descended for this 
purpose, the world being on the point of being consumed, 
the Saint ordered the sun to return to heaven. His followers, 
known as Shamsi, ' sun-worshippers ', combine Hindu beliefs 
with those of Islam, and at his shrine at Shamspur in the 
Shahpur District, Panjab, people come to be bled and the 
place reeks with blood.* 

Sultan Sakhl Sarwar settled at Sialkot in A. d. 1220. His 
shrine is at a place of the same name in the Dera Ghazi Khan 
District, which is a resort of Hindu and Musalman mendi- 
cants. His devotees are known as Sultan!, Phiral, or Pirahin, 
and his attendants (mujdvir) sleep on the ground.^ 

* Fanshawe, Delhi Past and Present, 235 £f. ; Ain, iii. 365 ; Sleeman, 
Rambles, 490 ff. ; Rose, i. 491 ; Ferishta, i. 377 ; 11. 285. 

2 EEE. ix. 600 f . ; Crooke, Popular Religion, i. 205 ff. ; Rose, on 
Lalbeg, iii. 20 ff. 

^ Fanshawe, Delhi Past and Present, 280 ; Rose, i. 491 ; ii. 3 ; Am, 
iii. 363 ; PNQ. i. 143. 

* CensvLS Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 138 ; Rose, iii. 402 f. ; J. W. Red- 
house, Mesnevi of Jelalu-dln, 99 ff. 

" Rose, i. 566 ff. ; iii. 435, 566 ; PNQ. i. 133 ; ERE. vii. 490. 




The religious buildings of Islam in India constitute an 
architectural group of great interest and beauty. Here no 
attempt will be made to consider them from the architectural 
aspect, but merely for their religious purposes.^ 

The Dargah (Persian dar, ' door ', gah, ' place ') is usually 
the shrine or tomb of some reputed Saint at which pilgrims 
assemble at the festival {'urs) which commemorates his 
death. In southern India there are two noted buildings of 
this class near Mangalore in the South Kanara District, Madras. 
The first is that known as Shaikli Farld kl Dargah. It con- 
sists of a cavern in a precipitous laterite rock, which is said to 
reach as far as Hyderabad, 45 miles distant. The cavern is 
very dark and, as no one ventures to enter it, its extent is 
unknown. The square opening is just large enough to allow 
a visitor to creep in, and it is reached by a flight of stone steps. 
Tradition runs that nearly two hundred years ago a Pir or 
Saint, Shaikh Farid, did the Chilla or forty days' penance 
at a time, neither speaking, eating, nor drinking during that 
period. At Kadiri in the Cuddapah District, Madras, he used 
to do similar penance, eating only the leaves of the plant known 
as Farid but! (cocuhis villosus, or more properly pedalium 
murer).^ At the end of twelve years he disappeared, and is 
said to have travelled underground to Mecca. Musalmans in 
numbers visit his shrine and on the Friday Sabbath cook food, 
say the Fatiha prayer over it and then distribute it to Faqxrs. 

* On Musahnan architecture, see G. T. Rivoira, Moslem Architecture, 
its Origins and Devdop7nent, Oxford, 1919 ; J. Fergusson, History of 
Indian and Eastern Architecture, London, 1910 ; Smith, History of Fine 
Art in India and Ceylon, Oxford, 1911 ; IGI. ii. 181 f. ; ERE. i. 755 ff., 
874 ff. 

2 Watt, Econ. Diet, vi, part 1, 123 f. 

£ed'ya/i. . or jVu/r-a.! fa/i 

^-^^ ^^^ 

r^^is^^^ /--m 


Afoor-c/t AjcC- 


If materials for cooking are not procurable, sweetmeats are 
distributed. The guardian of the Dargali is appointed from 
among those best qualified by piety and zeal, by a committee 
of the Makanwala (maMn, 'a place, .station ') or resident 
Faqirs and their Murlds or disciples. In the days of Tipu 
Sultan (a.d. 1782-99) the superintendent used to receive 
a rupee for every mast of a ship entering the harbour of 
Mangalore, a right which has been abolished since the British 
occupation. The second Dargah at Mangalore is that of 
Loh Langar Shah, ' he of the iron anchor ', visited both by 
Musalmans and Hindus, by those who wish to be freed from 
disease or misfortune. Lamps are lighted there every night, 
food is distributed, and dancing-girls entertain the visitors. 
The shrine is a large long tomb with minarets at each end. 
Rich people visit it on any night in the year, the poor every 
Monday and Thursday, or once a week or month. There are 
many famous Dargahs and tombs in the Deccan and northern 
India, of which the following are some examples. In the 
United Provinces at Ajodhya are the reputed tombs of Noah, 
Seth, and Job, that of Shah Qasim SulaimanI at Chunar, of 
Shaikh Sallm Chishti at Fathpur Sikri, of Kablr at Maghar. 
In Rajputana, at Ajmer, is that of Muinu-d-dln Chishti. In 
the Panjab are those of Shaikh Nizamu-d-din Auliya in Old 
Delhi, BabawaK Kandhari at Hasan Abdal, Bu 'All Qalandar 
at Karnal, and several of great repute at Uchh in the Bahawal- 
pur State. In the Central Provinces is that of Khwaja Shaikh 
Farld at Girar, and in southern India that of Baba Budan 
at Attigundi in Mysore. 

An 'Idgah is the place where the rites at the 'Id festivals 
are performed, known also as Namazgah or ' place of prayer '. 
It is usually a building erected outside a town, which is used 
only by Sunnis, and consists of a court or stone pavement 
raised some three or four feet above the level of the ground, 
along the west side of which is a wall which generally has 
small minarets at each end. In the middle of the wall three or 
four slabs rise from the pavement and form a pulpit (minibar, 
minbar), from which at the Ramazan and Baqar 'Id festivals 
the sermon or bidding-prayer (khutha) is delivered. Near it 
is a niche (mihrab) facing the worshipper, which points to the 


140 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiii 

direction of Mecca. The prayer-niche and the minaret are 
by some supposed to be derived from Hinduism, while the 
mosque dome follows the precedent of Assyrian temples.^ 
It is said that the Prophet while addressing the congregation 
used to stand on the uppermost step of the pulpit, Abii Bakr, 
his successor, on the second, 'Umar on the third or lowest, 
but 'Usman fixed upon the middle stage as that from which 
the sermon should be delivered, and since then this rule has 
been followed. ' In the beginning the Prophet leaned when 
fatigued against a post while preaching the khutba or Friday 
sermon. The Mimbar or pulpit was an invention of a Medina 
man of the Banii Najjar. It was a wooden frame two cubits 
long by one broad, with three steps, each one span high ; on 
the topmost of these the Prophet sat when he required rest. 
The pulpit assumed its present form about a.h. 90, a.d. 708, 
during the artistic reign of El Walld ' (a.d. 705-14).2 No 
special sanctity attaches to the 'Idgah. 

The Imambara, ' enclosure of the leader or guide ', belongs 
particularly to the Shi'as, being the mourning chapel in which 
the elegies for the martyrs Hasan and Husain are recited, and 
in which their cenotaphs (ta''ziya, tdbilt) are stored. One of 
the most famous buildings of this class is that at Lucknow, 
162 feet long by 54 wide, with a wonderful concrete vault, 
built by the Nawwab Asafu-d-daula (a.d. 1775-97).^ 

The mosque {masjid, ' place of prostration ') is, of course, 
a sacred building, and attempts to pollute it have often given 
rise to serious riots. But it marks Akbar's feeling towards 
orthodox Islam that when he introduced the Din Ilahi, or 
Divine Faith, he changed the mosques and prayer-rooms into 
store-rooms, or put them in charge of Hindu watchmen.* 
Except in the poorest villages, where it is built of clay like 

^ Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 361 ; Dabistan, i. 49 ; M. Jastrow, Civiliza- 
tion of Babylonia and Assyria, 379. See the account of the Mihrab in 
the Jami' Masjid at Bijapur (Cousens, Bijdpur, 59, with a fine coloured 
drawing as a frontispiece) ; that at Fathpur-Sikrl is figured by Smith, 
HFA., plate c. 

' Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 362. In ancient Arabia the pulpit was the 
judge's chair {ERE. i. 875). 

* Fergusson, Hist. Indian and Eastern Architecture, ed. 1899, p. 605. 

* Aln, i. 200 ; Smith, Akbar, 253. 


the houses of the peasantry, the mosque is of stone or brick 
in the form of a square. To the west is the service portion 
of the building {al-iwdn, al-aiwan, llmdn). In the centre of the 
open court (sahn) is a tank (hauz) used for the minor ablution 
{wuzfi'), while the greater (ghusl) is done in a special lavatory. 
The court is often surrounded by cloisters {riwdq, rawdq). 
In the covered part of the building on the east, or Mecca- 
pointing wall, is the arch (mihrab) and near it the pulpit 
{mimbar, minbar), beside which stands the stick {^asa), on 
which, according to ancient custom, the preacher leans, or 
liolds it in his hand. The mosque in its simplest form is based 
on the model of the ancient Semitic temple, but on the frontier, 
as in Baliichistan, we find mosques consisting only of a ring 
of stones, with an opening to the east and a small arch to the 
west, which is probably a survival from the pre-Islamic period.^ 
The roof is generally formed of a series of domes {gumbad, 
gumbaz), and the walls are all white, the only decoration 
allowed being the Names of Allah inscribed in Arabic characters. 
Lamps hang from the roof and curiosities like ostrich eggs 
are suspended in the same way. The use of pictures is pro- 
hibited, except in a few instances beyond India, as in Persia 
where the ShT'a kings paid little regard to the Mosaic and 
Koranic prohibition, and thus a school of art was formed 
which became extended to India under the patronage of 
Akbar.2 Muhammad cursed the painter of men and animals, 
and hence the prohibition which Akbar and other Mughal 
emperors followed. In the Gk)l Gambaz, the tomb of Sxiltan 
Mahmijd (a.d. 1626-56), at Bijapur, it is said that an aerolite 
which fell in his reign was suspended from the archway, but 
when it was taken down in 1879 it was found to be a water- 
worn pebble of green quartzite.^ The most authenticated 
relics of the Prophet were two rosaries, his cloak, the vessel 
in which he kept his eye collyrium, and a woollen sheet. But 
other relics are shown in India, such as a hair at Bijapur, 
a hair and a slipper in the Jami' Masjid at Delhi.* A remark- 

1 Census Report, 1911, p. 61. On mosque architecture see EB. ii. 424 f. 

2 Smith, UFA. 422, 455. ^ ^G. xxiii. 606. 

^ Ferishta, iii. 187 ; BG. xxiii. 621 ff. ; Fanshawe, Delhi Past and 
Present, 42. On relics of the Prophet see Lane, ME. i. 314 f. ; EEE. x. 662. 


148 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiii 

able form of mosque is found among the Mappillas of Malabar, 
where it follows the model of the turret-like Saiva temples .^ 

The Prophet did not forbid women to pray in the mosque, 
but it is considered better that they should pray in private. ^ 
In Cairo neither women nor young boys are permitted to 
join in or to be present at mosque prayers ; formerly women 
were admitted, but they were obliged to place themselves 
apart from men.^ There are ladies' galleries in some of the 
Indian mosques, as in the Mot! Masjid or ' Pearl ' mosque at 
Agra, where they had one of their own called Nagina or 
' Precious Stone ', and at Ahmadnagar. Such galleries are 
screened from view by a lattice (jdli) of carved marble, one of 
the most beautiful productions of Indo-Musalman art.* 

Connected with the mosque are one or more minarets 
{mlnar, manar), sometimes rising from the roof, sometimes 
detached from the main building, the finest example of the 
latter type being the Qutb Minar in Old Delhi. A hostelry 
(musdflrkMna), in which strangers enjoy the right of enter- 
tainment for three days, and a school, in which boys are 
taught to repeat the Koran and other rehgious books, are 
often attached to the mosque, with shops the rental of which 
is devoted to mosque expenses. The Koran is usually kept in 
a folding stand {rahil, ' that which is fit for travelling '). 
The tomb of the founder is sometimes covered with a pall of 
green velvet or satin, lights are lit and prelections of the 
Koran held near it. Worshippers naturally remove their 
shoes before entering the mosque. The floor of the court is 
sometimes covered with matting, arranged in strips to mark 
out the lines of worshippers, or in the greater mosques the 
slabs of the stone pavement answer the same purpose. The 
worshipper steps barefoot into the square {musalla) allotted to 
him, putting his right foot first in the space. On leaving the 
mosque he puts on his left shoe first as he crosses the threshold, 
and then the right shoe. Some of the older mosques, like 

^ Thurston, Castes, iv. 470. 

2 Mishkat, i. 223. According to Lane (ME. i. 102) very few women 
in Egypt pray, even at home ; but Leeder (p. 358) denies this. 

« Lane, ME. i. 102. 

« Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 434 ; Syad Muhammad Latif, Agra, 91, 94 ; 
BO. V. 431 ; Smith, HFA. 432 fE. 





the Quwwatu-1-Islam, ' might of Islam ', near the Qutb 
Minar in Old Delhi, and the Arhal Din ka Jhonpra, or ' the 
shed built in two days and a half ', at Ajmer, were built from 
the materials of Jain or Hindu temples.^ 

To meet the expense of maintenance there is sometimes 
a small endowment (waqf) derived from the rent of lands 
dedicated to the mosque. The religious local officials, more 
or less closely connected with the mosque, are the Qazi, 
formerly the ecclesiastical judge whose judicial functions have 
now ceased ; the Khatib, who sometimes makes the call to 
prayer, officiates at funerals, or as Imam, or Peshnamaz, 
the prayer leader, or as a beadle, a duty often assigned to 
the Mujavir or Farrash who sweeps the building ; the Ghassal 
who washes the dead ; the Daurahabardar or Piyada who 
acts as messenger and attendant. In the smaller mosques 
one man often discharges most of these duties.^ The affairs 
of the mosque are regulated by a committee with a Mutawali 
or superintendent. 

The rosary ^ {tasbih, subha) used by Musalmans consists of 
one hundred beads, and it is employed only in reciting the 
ninety-nine names of God with that of Allah. It is said that 
in early times pebbles were used for this purpose, or the names 
were counted on the fingers, and some Wahhabis contend that 
the Prophet did not use a rosary. The use of the rosary is 
said to have been borrowed from the Buddhists by Musalmans 
and from the latter by Christians, but the Christian use of it 
dates from a period much earlier than the Crusades. Some 

1 Fanshawe, Ddhi Past and Present, 258 ff. ; IGI. v. 170 ; BO. xi. 
385 ; xxiii. 635. ' In spite of the widely differing character of their 
places of worship, the dark Hindu shrine where only one or two can 
enter, the well-lit hall where the whole congregation of the faithful may 
meet, a pillared Gujarat temple, with its courtyard, porches, and colon- 
nades, can, with ease, be turned into a mosque. The chief ceU and its 
porch taken from the middle of the court, and the entrances of the 
surrounding cells built up, there remains the typical mosque, a courtyard 
girt with a double colonnade. For the remaining feature, the important 
Mecca wall, all that is wanted is to raise these two tall porch pillars 
and dome, with, if they are to be had, a smaller dome on either side ' 
(BG. iv. 264 ; Fergusson, Hist. Indian Architecture, 500 ff.). 

2 On the varied functions of the Mulla, see EEE. viii. 909 f. 

^ For a full account of the rosary, see ibid. x. 847 ff. ; Hughes, 546. 

150 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiii 

of the materials from which the beads are made are ebony 
(abnus), seeds of the Indian shot plant (aqalbar, canna indica), 
cornelian ('aqlq), Mocha stone {''aqiqu-l-bahr), seeds of the 
umbrella-bearing palm {bajrbattu, corypha umbraculifera), 
coral (gull), the country gooseberry or Brazil cherry {harfaleuri, 
chilmill, charmeld, phyllanthus emblica), the curative dust 
from the field of Karbala (khak-i-shafd) used by Shi'as, amber 
{kahruba, ' straw attracting '), wood (kath) of various kinds, 
date stones (khajur kd bij), a red Avood spotted with black 
(tail nahdr, ' night and day '), pearl (moti), agate {ptr patdri), 
wood of the basilic basil {rehan, raihdn, ocymum basilicum), 
mother of pearl (sadaf), sandalwood (sandal), onyx {sulaimdnl), 
yellowish stone beads used by Faqirs and learned men (sang- 
i-maqsud), olive stones (zaitun).^ 

The prayer-carpet {jdnamdz, jdenamdz) should have the 
background green, the Prophet's colour, and on it is woven 
a representation of a mosque with its domes and minarets in 
some contrasting colour, such as red, the whole being a picture 
of the Ka'ba at Mecca. 

* Full details are given by Watt {Econ. Diet. i. 426 ff.)- 



The name Muharram means that which is ' forbidden ' or 
' taboo ', and hence ' sacred ', the first month of the Musalman 
year.i According to the Author, the festival in this month, 
and called by the same name, was in existence in the time of 
the Prophet, the Chosen — May God bless him ! — it having 
been observed as such by prophets before his time. But the 
Prophet, the Messenger of God, ordered that his followers 
should observe certain additional customs on the 'Ashura or 
tenth day, bathing, the wearing of apparel finer than ordinary, 
the applying of antimony (surma) to the eyes, fasting, prayer, 
cooking of more food than ordinary, making friends with 
enemies and establishing friendship among others, associating 
with pious and learned divines, taking compassion on orphans 
and giving alms to them, and bestowing alms in charity. 
The month derives its special importance from the festival in 
honour of the martyrs. 

In certain historical and traditional works it is stated that 
on the tenth day of Muharram the following events occurred : 
the first fall of rain, the appearance of Adam and Eve upon 
earth and the propagation of the human race, the creation of 
the ninth Heaven ('arsh, a term applied in the Koran ^ to 
the throne of God), the divine mission granted to the spirits 
of ten thousand prophets, the creation of the eighth or, as 
some say, the ninth crystalline sphere, the seat of judgement 
(kursi) of God, of Paradise (bihisht), or the seven Heavens, of 
Hell {duzakh), of the ' guarded tablets ' (al-haida-l-mahfuz), 

1 The Prophet is said to have fixed the 10th, or 'Ashura of Muharram 
as a time of fast, which was subsequently transferred to Ramazan. 
The Muharram seems to have been originally a harvest feast (ERE. 
iii. 126 ; v. 882). The question of the ancient sanctity of the month is 
discussed by Sale (Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 81). 

* ix. 121. 

152 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

on which the decrees of God are written, of the pen {qalam) 
with which these decrees are inscribed, of fate or destiny 
(taqdir), of life (hayat), and of death (maut) : these things did 
the Almighty create in His infinite wisdom. 

Musalmans count seven Heavens,^ which are evidently 
based upon the Ptolemaic astronomy : i. Daru-1-jalal, 'house 
of glory ', made of pearls ; ii. Daru-1-salam, ' house of peace ', 
of rubies and jacynths ; iii. Jannatu-1-m'awa, ' garden of 
mansions ', of green chrysolite ; iv. Jannatu-1-klauld, ' garden 
of eternity ', of yellow coral ; v. Jannatu-1-na'im, ' garden 
of delights ', not a sensual Paradise,^ of white sUver ; vi. 
Jannatu-l-firdaus, Paradise, of red gold ; vii. Jannatu-l-'Adn, 
Eden, or Al-Qarar, ' everlasting abode ', which some number 
viii, of red pearls or pure musk ; viii. Jannatu-l-Hlyiin, ' the 
sublime '. 

There are also seven Hells according to Musalman belief : 
i. Jahannum, the purgatorial Hell, the Hebrew Gehenna, 
' the valley of Hinnom ', borrowed probably from the Jews 
and Magians ; ^ ii. Laza, ' a blazing fire ', reserved for Chris- 
tians ; iii. Hutama, for Jews ; iv. Sa'Ir, ' a flaming fire ', 
for the Sabians and those who unjustly devour the property 
of orphans ; v. Saqar, ' a scorching heat ', for the Magians 
and Ghabr or fire-worshippers ; vi. Jahima, ' a great hot 
fire ', for Pagans and idolators ; vii. Hawiya, ' a dark bottom- 
less pit ', for hypocrites. 

Musalmans also believe that the earth and heaven are 
each divided into seven parts. Those of the earth : i. of 
ashes ; ii. of crystal ; iii. of gold ; iv. of pewter ; v. of 
emerald ; vi. of iron ; vii. of pearl. Of these No. i. is occupied 
by men. Jinn, and animals ; ii. by the suffocating wind which 
destroyed the infidel tribe of 'Ad ; * iii. by the stones of Hell ; 
iv. by the sulphur of Hell ; v. by the serpents of Hell ; vi. by 
the scorpions of Hell ; vii. by the Devil and his angels. The 

1 Koran, Ixv. 12 ; FEE. iv. 174 ; Redhouse, The Mesnevi of Jelalu- 
d-din, 253 note. 

2 Burton, AN. vii. 381 ; but see Hughes, 449 f. 

^ Hastings, Diet. Bible, ii. 119, 345; Sale, Koran, Preliminary Dis- 
course, 67. 

* They lived in South Arabia, and to them the Prophet Hud was 
sent {.Koran, vii, 63 ff. ; xi. 52 ff. ; xxvi. 123 ff. ; Hughes, 181 f.). 


seven heavens are : i. the firmament, the abode of Adam, 
made of pure virgin silver ; ii. the abode of Enoch and John 
the Baptist, of gold ; iii. of Joseph, of pearls ; iv. of Jesus, 
of pure white gold ; v. of Aaron, of pure silver ; vi. of Moses, 
of ruby and garnet ; vii. of Abraham, of crystal. 

There are various accounts of the history of the martyrdom 
of Their Highnesses Imam Hasan and Husain — May God 
reward them ! — but all agree in the fact that it was caused 
at the instigation of Yazid who, wretched from all eternity, 
was the ringleader, and it was preordained that he should be 
the author of their martyrdom. How is it possible for one 
to be deprived of life by the mere enmity, tyranny, or command 
of another ? But thus it is that whatever the Munshi or 
Eternal Registrar has recorded as man's destiny must neces- 
sarily come to pass. As a proverb justly says : ' Diversified 
are the modes of dying, and equally so are the means of 
living '. That is, though the hand of the Almighty does not 
appear visibly in either, yet He is the Author of both. 

In A.D. 639 the Kliallfa 'Umar conferred the government of 
Syria on Mu'awia, son of Abii Suflan, and on his son as his 
successor.^ The house of Ummaya was founded in 644. In 
676 his son Yazid was declared heir-apparent, and Mu'awia 
set out for Mecca with the object of securing the assent of the 
leading dissentients at Medina, led by His Highness Imam 
Husain, second son of 'All who was elected Khalifa in 655 on 
the death of 'Usman, the third Khalifa, and was murdered 
at Kufa in 661. Mu'awia died in 680 and Yazid succeeded 
him. The subjects of Yazid excited enmity between Husain 
and Hasan, the second and eldest sons of 'All, representing 
the latter to be a mere boy, the son of a Faqlr, a poor miserable 
wretch, possessing no army, while he, a mighty monarch, had 
an inexhaustible treasury at his disposal. It was surprising 
that he should submit to be ruled by a man of Medina. Yazid, 
known to Shi'as as Palid, 'the polluted ', or Mal'un, ' accursed ', 
thus influenced and elated by pride, demanded homage 

^ For a full account of these events see Muir, Annals oj the Early 
Caliphate, chaps. 40, 41, 42. The narrative in the text follows the 
original version by the author, as it embodies some curious legends ; 
but much which is of little value has been omitted. 

154 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

from Hasan. He wrote to him in these terms : ' Come and 
be subject to my sway, and I will of my own accord not only 
make you King of Medina and Mecca, but I will bestow on 
you great wealth '. Hasan replied, ' This is passing strange ! 
Pray, whose duty is it to pay homage ? Wlience did this 
state of subjection and sovereignty originate ? Consider the 
matter calmly. Do not presume on worldly wealth, to-morrow 
you may have to answer for this to God '. This answer further 
increased the jealousy of YazTd. 

After this another affair occurred. Yazid learned that 
'Abdu-llah ibn Zubair,^ an inhabitant of Mecca in his service, 
had a beautiful wife, and being a debauched character he 
endeavoured by some means to gain possession of her. On 
one occasion he said to 'Abdu-llah, ' You are a man of Medina 
and I have a virgin sister, quick, sensible, virtuous. If you 
choose I will give her to you in marriage '. He, being unaware 
of the plot, replied, ' O King of the whole earth ! I agree 
with all my heart and soul '. Yazid then took 'Abdu-llah to 
his palace and desired him to be seated. In an hour or so 
he came out and said, ' The girl knows that you are a married 
man, and unless you divorce your present wife she refuses to 
marry you '. The moment he heard this he gave his wife the 
' unconditional ' divorce (taldq-i-mutlaqa). Yazid left him, 
and returning after some time said, ' The girl agrees to marry 
you, but she wishes that the marriage settlement should be 
first paid, and until this is done she will not consent to the 
union '. 'Abdu-llah answered, ' I am a poor man and the 
portion will probably be large. Where can I procure it ? ' 
Yazid satisfied him by granting him the governorship of 
a distant province to which he sent him. In the meantime 
he wrote to the holder of that office and directed him to put 
'Abdu-llah to death by some means. ^ This was accordingly 

Then Yazid dispatched Musa Asha'ri as his envoy to 'Abdu- 
llah's wife with this message, ' Behold ! Your husband 

' This man, a rival claimant of the dignity of Khalifa, was besieged 
at Mecca by Hajjaj, general of 'Abdu-1-malik, and was killed in battle 
in 692. (Muir, op. cit., chap. 50.) 

^ One of the 'letters of death ', so eommon in folklore. The Arabs 
called them ' letters of Mutalammis ' (Burton, AN. xii. 68). 


without any cause and through covetousness has divorced 
you. Now if you consent to be mine you may be the wife of 
a King '. On the arrival of the envoy at Mecca His Highness 
Hasan asked whence he came and where he was going. He 
replied, ' I am sent by the King of Syria to 'Abdu-llah's wife, 
whose husband is dead, offering marriage ', Hearing this 
Hasan said, ' O Miisa Asha'ri ! In case she does not consent 
to Yazid's proposals, deliver the same message in my name '. 
When the envoy gave his message to the lady and praised the 
grandeur of Yazid, she asked, ' Well, what next ? ' He said, 
' Imam Hasan, Khalifa of this city, the son of 'AIT and of the 
daughter of the Prophet — on whom be the Blessing ! — ^lias 
also made proposals to you '. She asked, ' Anything else ? ' 
' Why ', said he, ' if you desire manliness and beauty I am 
here.' Then peeping at him from behind a screen and seeing 
him to be an old man, she said, ' O Asha'ri ! You are old 
enough to be my father, and as for your beauty it cannot 
exceed mine. As for Yazid, who can depend on his wealth 
which is only of a day or two ? And like the noonday sun it 
may incline one way or the other. It is better for me to 
accept Hasan whose wealth will last till the Day of Judge- 
ment, and whose dignity and grandeur are in the very presence 
of the Deity'. 

The envoy informed Hasan that she had decided in his 
favour, and told him that according to Musalman custom 
he might be married at the bride's house and bring her home. 
So Asha'ri took Hasan to her house, performed the ceremony, 
and Hasan brought her home. Asha'ri told Yazid all that 
had happened, and he finding that his schemes had miscarried, 
became from that time indignant with Asha'ri and the mortal 
enemy of Hasan. Yazid used to send order after order, 
urging them to slay Hasan and promising the post of Wazir 
to his murderer. The Kiifa people also complained to Hasan 
of Yazid's treatment of them and invited him to join them. 
Hasan trusted their promises and started for Kufa. Yazid 
sent his MunshI Marwan to Medina, and on his way a man at 
whose house he stayed tried twice to poison Hasan. Yazid 
urged him to make another attempt and promised him the 
post of Wazir if he succeeded. Learning of this Hasan left 

156 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

the place, and on the way a man pretending to be blind thrust 
a poisoned lance into his thigh, and he long suffered from the 
injury. Hasan returned to Medina, and there Marwan induced 
a woman named Ja'da to put poison in his water-bottle, from 
the effects of which he died. He was buried in the cemetery 
at Medina known as Jannatu-1-baqi' or Baqi'u-1-gharkad, 
' the garden of roots '.^ 

Husain thus left alone in his distress was invited by the 
men of Kufa, and he sent his cousin, nephew of 'All, Muslim 
ibn 'Uqail, who urged him to come and win his revenge on 
Yazid. So Husain went to Kufa in a.d. 680. Muslim, in 
fear of attack, concealed himself in the house of a man named 
Hani. When 'Abdu-llah, the new governor, came, he ordered 
Hani to surrender Muslim, and on his refusal had him scourged 
to death. Muslim, too, was slain, and his two sons suffered 
martyrdom at the hands of a man named Haris with whom 
they sought refuge. When Husain heard of these events, 
he fell into despair, and an order came from Yazid that Husain 
was to be slain. Yazid 's army encamped on the banks of the 
Furat or Euphrates,^ and that of Husain at a place called 
Mariya or Dashtbala Karbala.^ In the end Husain with his 
family gained martyrdom. It is said that at the last Ja'far, 
king of the Pari or fairies, offered to help Husain, but he 
declined their aid. 

The funeral service (namaz-i-jandza) was said over the 
bodies, and the family of Husain were sent with the heads of 
the martyrs to Syria. Among the mourners was BIbl Shahr- 
banu, daughter of the unfortunate Yazdigard III, the last of 
the Sassanian dynasty, thus uniting the house of Sasan with 
that of the Prophet. ' To this union is perhaps to be attributed 
in some degree the enthusiasm with which the Persians, 
bereft of their old religion, espoused the cause of 'All and his 
successors, in other words the Shi'ite faction of the Muham- 

^ Hasan died by poison March 17, 669-70. The story that his wife 
was bribed to poison him is improbable, and his death was probably 
due to jealousy in his harem (Muir, Annals, 422). 

^ The Euphrates was called in Sumerian Pura-nun, ' the great water ', 
or Pura, whence the Semites derived their Purat or Purattu, old Persian 
Ufratu, and thence the name Euphrates and modem Persian Eurat. 

^ Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 11. 

ri/ir^// 'Ahj/i-'t'/r cr Da/i-'fuxAtr/. 




madans, against the usurpation of those whom the Sunnis 
dignify with the title of IQialifa, or vice -regent of the 
Prophet '.^ 

Various miracles occurred as the heads of the martyrs were 
taken to Syria, under orders of YazTd, in spite of the protests 
of Zainu-1-abidin, son of Husain, in whose charge the heads 
were sent to Medina, whence, it is said, they were taken back 
to Karbala. According to others, the head of Husain was 
buried at Cairo.' The Persians observe the 20th day of the 
month Safar in commemoration of the burial of Husain's 
head at Karbala. They say that it had been removed by 
Mi'awia to Damascus and thence to Karbala, where it was 
buried forty days after his death. Bdt Mu'awia died in 
April 680, and Husain was killed on the 10th October followin'5.^ 

The Muharram festival begins on the evening when the new 
moon becomes visible, but by the Musalman calculation from 
the morning following. During the ten days of mourning it 
IS believed in Egypt that the Jinn visit people at night.* 
The Muharram, including the tomb visitation (ziyarat), may 
be said to last till the 12th day of the month, bat the festival 
really lasts ten days, known as the 'Ashiira or tenth. Special 
buildings are provided in which they set up the standards 
('alam), the cenotaphs of the martyrs (ta''ziya, tdbut), the royal 
seats (shahnishm, dddmahall), the representations of Buraq, 
the mule on which the Prophet made his journey {mi^raj, isrd) 
to Jerusalem and to Heaven. Sometimes these buildings are 
decorated with screens (tatti) made of mica and other glittering 
substances. They are known as the ' Ten Day houses ' 
C'dshurkMna), ' the house of the cenotaphs ' (ta^ziyakhdna), or 
' the Faqirs' lodging ' (dstdna). Strangers are not allowed to 
approach these buildings, as they must be kept pure for 

The moment they see the new moon they do the ' mattock- 

* Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 88. For details of the tragedy 
see Muir, The Caliphate, 317 £E. ; Annals of the Caliphate, 433 ff. ; Sir 
Lewis Perry, The Miracle Play of Hasan and Husain, Preface. 

2 Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 40 ; S. Ockley, Hist, of Saracens, 412, 415 

^ Malcolm, Hist, of Persia, i. 264. 

^ Lane, ME. ii. 146 ff. 

158 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

wielding ' rite {kudali mama). They recite the Fatiha over 
sugar in the names of the martyrs, and go to the spot selected 
for the fire-pit (alawa). A sod of earth is turned and a day or 
two after the pit is dug. It is 1-|- to 8 cubits in diameter, with 
a low wall built round it, and every year it is dug in the same 
place. After the pit is dug they light fires in it every evening 
during the festival, and ignorant people, young and old, fence 
across it with sticks or swords. Or they run round it calling 
out ' Ya 'All ! Ya 'Ali ! Shah Hasan ! Shah Husain ! Dulha ! 
Dulha ! Hae Dost ! Rahiyo ! Rahiyo ! ' ' O ' Ali ! King 
Hasan, Husain ! Bridegroom ! Alas ! Friend ! Stay ! Stay ! ' 
In performance of vows some leap into the burning embers 
and out again, while others leap through the flames or throw 
handfuls of fire about. Women, too, make a fire-pit, sing the 
funeral elegies (marsiya) and beat their breasts. In Gujarat 
' a hole is dug about a foot broad and a foot deep. In this 
hole a fire is kindled and the person who has vowed to become 
a Dula, Dulha, or " bridegroom ", goes round the fire seven or 
eleven times. If any of his friends notices the bridegroom 
spirit moving the devotee, they wave a rod with feathers on it 
up and down before his face, fanning him gently, while incense 
is freely burnt. The people round keep up a chorus of " Diila ! 
DQla ! Diila ! " to the measure of which the person wishing 
to be possessed sways at first in gentle, and by degrees in 
more violent, oscillations. When the full power of the 
" breath " (Ml) fills the devotee, that is, when his eyeballs 
turn up and become fixed in a steady stare, and his body 
grows cold, he is made to keep his face bowed among the 
peacock feathers. After his face has been for some time 
pressed in the feathers, the spirit seizes him and he rushes out 
heedless of water or of fire. As he starts, one of his friends 
holds him from behind, supporting and steadying him. He 
guides the Dula's aimless impulses to the Akhara or place of 
other Diilas or of the Ta'ziya cenotaphs, where fresh incense 
is burnt before his face. On the way from place to place the 
Dula is stopped by wives praying for the blessing of children, 
or the removal of a rival, or the casting out of a Jinn or other 
evil spirit. To secure a son the Diila generally directs a flower 
or two to be plucked from the jasmine garlands that deck his 


rod, a bar of silver or iron ending in a crescent or horseshoe, 
and covered with peacock feathers. On returning to his own 
Akhara or place the Diila falls senseless and after remaining 
so for an hour or two regains consciousness. Only those can 
become possessed who have vowed to become Dulas. Even 
to these the afflatus is sometimes denied. No woman can be 
possessed by the Diila spirits.' ^ In Surat, where the Muharram 
rites are more fidly performed than in other parts of Gujarat, 
on the evening of the eighth day of the feast children are 
dressed in green, and clothes are sent to families connected by 
betrothal. Besides dressing as tigers, men and boys often 
join hands and go about singing the Muharram dirges, dressed 
like Hindu Gosain ascetics or half-Hindu, half-Musalman 
HusainI Brahman beggars. ^ 

Women doing the breast-beating {slnazanl), a Shi'a practice 
prohibited to Sunnis, call out with screams, ' Hae ! Hae ! 
Shah Javan ! Tinon ! Tinon ! Lohu men ! Dube ! Dube ! 
Gire ! Gire ! Mare ! Mare ! Ya 'Ali ! ' ' Alas ! Noble 
youths ! All three ! Drowned in their blood ! Fallen ! 
Fallen ! O 'All ! ' If they remember any of the dirges they 
scream them out and beat their breasts. Some women in 
place of the fire-pit put a lamp on a wooden mortar or on an 
inverted earthen pot, and make their lamentations over it. 

The 'Ashiirkhana of southern India is replaced in the 
north by the Imambara, ' the place of the prayer-leader '♦ 
On the first, third, or fourth day after the new moon the 
building is decorated, and the standards {'■alam, shaddd, 
panja, imamzdda, pirdn, Sdhihdn, Imdmain) are placed there. 
Those that are paraded before the tenth day are called the 
' mounted ' {sawdri), and they are distinguished by having 

* BG. ix, part 2, 138. The meaning of the fire-walk is obscure. It 
has been interpreted as a form of fertility or purification magic (Frazer, 
GB., Balder the Beautiful, ii. 1 ff. ; ERE. iv. 852 ; vi. 30 f. ; ix. 510, 
512 f., 518). It has been alleged that the walking through the fire is 
an optical delusion, the trench being so arranged that the performer 
can tread on its sides without touching the fire (Risley, Tribes and 
Castes of Bengal, i. 253 ; cf. Man, iv. 57). Also see Hartland, Primitive 
Paternity, i. 99. Rival theologians in India have challenged each other 
to walk through fire (Ferishta, i. 299 ; Smith, Akbar, 176). 

^ BG. ix, part 2, 138 f. For the Husaini Brahmans see J. Wilson, 
Indian Caste, ii. 29, 134 ; Rose, ii. 141 f. 

160 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

lemons suspended from them.^ In all Shi'a houses the fish 
standard (mahi) is conspicuous, being the head of a fish made 
of gold or silver suspended from a pole decorated with 
brocade. 2 The ' dignities ' (maratib) is also a standard fixed 
on a bamboo, decorated with rich cloth. These are carried 
on elephants, like colours. Some are known as those of 
Haidar, ' the lion ', a title of 'All, ' the hand ' (jpanja ») of 
'All, those of Fatima, 'Abbas, the standard-bearer ('■alamdclr), 
that of Qasim, of the twelve Imams, of the ' protecting Imam ' 
{Imam zamin), the ' noble shield ' (dhal sahib), the double 
sword presented by the Prophet to 'Ali (barzakhi, qudrati, 
zu-l-faqar), the horse-shoe (naH sahib), that of the charger 
ridden by Husain at the battle of Karbala, which is said to 
have been found by a pilgrim and brought to BIjapur, whence 
on the downfall of that kingdom it was removed to Hyderabad. 
These standards are generally made of copper, brass, or steel, 
inlaid with precious stones, or of paper or wood. Those of 
metal, whether new or old, are brought in state with music, 
after being polished, to the 'Ashurkhanas, in each of which 
four, five, six, or seven are set up. They are fixed on staves 
of silver or wood, decked with coloured cloths. On the first, 
fourth, or fifth evening after the new moon they are fixed in 
holes in the ground or fastened to stools, and in front of them 
are placed lights, fly- whisks (morchhal), censers for burning 
aloes wood {''udsoz), toys, and other decorations. Sometimes 
on one side is placed a footmark of the Prophet {qadam-i- 
rasul). Incense is burnt, and food and sherbet over which 
the Fatiha is said in the name of the martyrs are distributed.* 
Every evening the Fatiha is recited, and there is a lection of 
the Koran (khatm-i-qurdn). In the morning they read only 
the Koran and at night the Rauzatu-sh-shuhada, ' The Garden 
of the Martyrs ', sing dirges (nahhd, marsiya), make lamentation 

* A lemon speared on a knife is a powerful charm against evil spirits 
(Russell, ii. 179 ; iii. 181, 557 ; BO. ix, part 1, 420 ; xi. 61 ; xviii, 
part 1, 304, 345 ; L. Rice, Mysore from the Inscriptions, 185). 

^ See Sleeman, RamUes, 135, 137 ; Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 43. 

^ Panja, ' five ', the hand with the fingers extended, a favourite 
protective amulet (Crooke, Popular Religion, ii. 39 ; ERE. iii. 459 ; 
F. T. Elworthy, The Evil Eye, 241 fif.). 

* On the mourning see BG. ix, part 2, 137> 


and beat their breasts. Food over which the Fatiha is said 
is given to the poor. 

Every night the funeral elegies are sung by boys trained 
for the duty, and Faqirs and friends keep vigil (shab-beddrt). 
In south Gujarat after the fourth day the mourning changes 
to merriment and masquerade, and the only observance till 
the tenth day is the offering of sherbet at the side of the roads 
to children and travellers. This seems to be, in part, a reaction 
after the intensity of the mourning, partly, an imitation of 
the revelry at Hindu festivals like the Holi or fire feast. In 
Hyderabad, from the first to the seventh day, except the 
recital of the Fatiha and of the benediction (durud), reading 
of the Koran and the dirges ^ with preparation of food and 
sherbet, nothing else is done. On the seventh day of the 
moon, by the ignorant on the seventh day of the month, the 
standard of the martyr Qasim, distinguished by a little silver 
or gold umbrella fixed on it, is paraded. He is one of the 
sacred bridegrooms, for at the age of ten he was betrothed to 
Fatima, daughter of Husain, and was slain in the battle.^ In 
Lucknow this is known as the marriage procession (menhdi) 
of the little bridegroom. His standard is carried by a man on 
horseback, and the dancing-girls who follow sing elegies and 
beat their breasts. Sometimes it is carried by a man on 
foot who reels like a madman calling out ' Dulha ! Dulha ! ' 
' Bridegroom ! ' As he passes any 'Ashurkhana on the road 
he salutes the standards and recites the Fatiha over the 
smoke of burning aloes wood. Then he is escorted back to 
his own 'Ashurkhana, where he is laid on a stool as he is 
believed to impersonate the dead martyr, shrouded and treated 
as a corpse, while lamentations are made. Here sherbet, 
known as that of the battle (ran kd sharbat), is distributed. 

On the seventh day the spear (neza), covered with cloth and 
having a lemon fixed on the top, emblematical of the spear 
on which the head of Husain was taken away, is paraded. 
As they pass, the people throw pots of water on the sj^ear- 
bearer's feet and give him money or grain. The superintendent 

1 For translations of several dirges see Sir L. Pelly, Miracle Play, 

- Muir, Annals, 439 ; The Caliphate, 322. 


162 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

of each 'Ashurkhana, as he passes, gives him a little ashes 
of the burnt aloes wood, which he takes with devotion, rubs 
it on his own eyes and those of his children, eats a little and 
makes his children do the same. On that evening they 
parade the standard of BTbi Fatima, that of Husain, the 
holy horseshoe {n'al sahib) and the sword of 'AIT {zu-l-fiqdr). 
Elegies are sung and lamentation is made. 

The holy horseshoe is made of gold, or other metal, or of 
wood, or paper smeared with sandalwood paste. It is rather 
larger than a common horse-shoe. The bearers rush through 
the crowd upsetting infirm men, women, and children to the 
diversion of the lookers-on. 

Some, in ignorance of the Law, make a thing like a human 
figure, and put the horseshoe on it as a head. Others carry 
a parasol (aftabgir), a fan in the shape of a leaf of the sacred 
PIpal tree (ficus religiosa), made of decorated coloured paper, 
and this is carried by a man who rests the pole on his waist- 
cloth while others hold it up with ropes. Whenever the 
bearer halts they lower the parasol and shake it over his head, 
but in their excitement they often knock one parasol against 
another and break them. Many do this in fulfilment of 
a vow. A woman makes a vow to the horseshoe, ' If through 
thy favour I am blessed with a son I promise to make him 
run with thy procession '. Should a son be born to her she 
puts a parasol in his hand and makes him run with it. Rich 
people let their sons go only a short way, and after that 
servants run for them. In the same way on the eighth evening 
they take out the BarzakhT or QudratT standard, and in 
Lucknow on the following night those of 'Abba* and Husain. 
If two processions happen to meet on the road they make 
the standards embrace each other, and then pass on after 
saying the Fatiha and burning incense. In Ajmer an exciting 
spectacle is provided by the people of the Indarkoti Muhalla 
or quarter, in which a crowd of men armed with sharp swords 
dance and throw their weapons about in wild confusion.^ 
Something of the bridegroom's spirit is supposed to dwell in 
the horseshoe, which works miraculous cures. To gain this 
inspiration a silver or iron rod ending in a crescent or horse- 

' C. C. Watson, Gazetteer Ajmer-Marwara, 1 A, 40. 


shoe, and covered on all sides with peacocks' feathers, is set 
up with the burning of incense. In the Deccan, particularly 
in Hyderabad, after each Muharram many such rods with 
horseshoes mounted on the tops are thrown into a well, and 
before the next Muharram all those who have thrown their 
rods into the well go there and await the pleasure of the 
martyr who makes the rod of the person he has chosen to 
represent him to rise to the surface. In Gujarat this miracle 
is not vouchsafed.'^ On the tenth day in Hyderabad all the 
standards and the cenotaphs, except those of Qasim, are 
carried on men's shoulders, attended by Faqirs, and they 
perform the night procession (shabgasht) with great pomp, 
the lower orders doing this in the evening, the higher at 
midnight. On that night the streets are illuminated and 
every kind of revelry goes on. One form of this is an exliibi- 
tion of a kind of magic lantern, in which the shadows of the 
figures representing battle scenes are thrown on a white cloth 
and attract crowds. The whole town keeps awake that night 
and there is universal noise and confusion. 

The simplest form of the cenotaph or shrine is that made 
by Brahiil and Baloch women, effigies made of»cloth repre- 
senting Husain, before which they gather and beat their 
breasts .2 In Persia ' a litter in the shape of a sarcophagus 
which was called Qabr-i-Paighambar, or the tomb of the 
Prophet, was borne on the shoulders of eight men. On its 
front was a large oval ornament entirely covered with precious 
stones and just above it a large diamond star. On a small 
projection were two tapers placed on candlesticks enriched 
with jewels. The top and sides were covered over with 
Cachmerian shawls, and on the summit rested a turban, 
intended to represent the head-dress of the Prophet. On 
each side walked two men bearing poles from which a variety 
of beautiful shawls was suspended, at the top of which were 
representations of Mahomed's hand studded with jewellery.' ' 
This is, perhaps, not connected with the Muharram, but it 

' BG. ix, part 2, 138. For a photograph see Russell, i. 252. 
2 Census Report, Baluchistan, 1901, i. 43. 

^ Morier, Second Journey, 181, with an illustration ; see Hughes, 
408 ff. The Persian cenotaphs are described by Wills, 279 ff 


164 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

is analogous to the shrine paraded by the Indo-Musalmans. 
In India the cenotaph (ta'ziya, tdbUt) consists of a framework 
of bamboo in the shape of a mausoleum, intended to represent 
that erected in the plain of Karbala over the remains of 
Husain. It is usually covered with a network of paper neatly 
cut, and it is sometimes decorated on the back with plates 
of mica {talq). It is also ornamented with coloured paper 
formed into various devices and has tinsel fringes, the whole 
structure being surmounted by a dome which is often con- 
trived so as to move round at the slightest breath of air. 
Its beauty appears when it is lighted up within and without. 
In shape it is square, its sides varying in height. Within are 
set up standards or a couple of small tombs intended to be 
those of the martyrs. Some instead of covering it with a paper 
network make strings of glass bangles (bangri), with white 
paper flowers, and behind they tie saffron-coloured cloth or 
paste red paper. This is known in the Deccan as the ' bracelet 
bier ' {bangrian ki tdbut). Others, again, replace the paper 
network with wax flowers and leaves of various colours, such 
as roses and tuberoses, and when they carry it about at night 
they squirt «vater on it to prevent the wax from melting in 
the heat of the torches and blue lights. This looks like a flower 
garden {chaman) and is known as the ' waxen bier ' (mom 
kl tdbut). Others make the bier to represent the tomb of the 
Prophet at Medina. This is decorated with gold and enamel 
and attracts crowds of admirers. Again, instead of the 
network, some people substitute cloth on which they sow the 
seed of mustard (sarson), so that at night the young plants 
make it look as if made of emeralds. Some make a repre- 
sentation of a camel, the spread hand (panja) or standards 
with mustard or jasmine growing on a shed {mandud ki 
chameli), and as they carry this about on the Shuhada or 
martyrs' day, the tenth, people throw bracelets made of 
coloured threads on it. The making of these biers or ceno- 
taphs is said to date from the time of Amir Timur, who 
invaded India in a.d. 1398. On his return from a pilgrimage 
to Karbala he made a miniature tomb of Husain which he 
added to the mourning rites of the Muharram.^ 

» BG. ix, part 2, 139. 


In Hyderabad some people, instead of the cenotaphs, 
erect a ' royal seat ' (shahnishin) or a ' palace of justice ' 
{dadtnahall), which, like the cenotaphs, are made of bamboo, 
paper, and tinsel. This is placed against the wall of the 
'Ashurkhana, and standards are set up within it. It has 
sometimes a transparency in the form of a lamp -shade which 
moves with the slightest breeze, and is called the ' revolving 
shade ' (charkhi fdnus) or the ' fancy shade ' (fdnus-i-khaydl), 
the latter being a lantern which revolves through the heat 
of the candle placed inside, and has outside figures of camels 
and other animals. These shades are sometimes made 
independently, and are placed in front of the ' royal seat '. 
Some set up what are called ' screens ' (tatti), made of square 
pieces of mica and mercury, like looking-glasses, which shine 
brightly in the glare. Large sums of money are spent in 
making these ' screens ', which are specially in vogue in the 
city of Hyderabad. Some set up in the 'Ashurkliana artificial 
trees — mangoes, pine-apples, or custard apples — ^which look 
like real trees laden with fruit and flowers, with pictures of 
birds and squirrels eating the fruit. Sometimes human figures 
of various shapes and colours are constructed, representing 
people praying, sitting, standing, making prostrations, or of 
a sepoy standing as a sentry with his musket on his shoulder. 
This is contrary to the practice of the Prophet, who cursed 
the painter or artist of men or animals, and hence the portraits 
of rulers are absent from the Musalman coinage .^ Near these 
they place figures of birds and animals, and an artificial dove 
is made to fly out of its cage and coo.^ 

At some 'Ashurkhanas or fii-e-pits (aldwd) they set up on 
a platform a representation of a woman grinding corn in 
a hand-mill. Sometimes they attach a heavy stone to a cucum- 
ber, melon, or plantain, and, strange to say, if a knife is stuck 
into it, it does not cut it. 

* Hughes, 458. 

- The dove, perhaps a survival of some older cult, is associated with 
the martyrdom. Lady Burton (Life of Sir R. Burton, ii. 77) describes 
the miracle play : ' Then comes the bier with Hossein's corjjse, and his 
son sitting upon it and embracing him, and a beautiful white dove in 
the comer, whose wings are dabbled with blood.' On the Minoan dove 
cult, see L. R. Famell, Greece and Babylon, 72 f . 

166 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

On the seventh night of the festival a figure of Buraq, ' the 
bright one ', the gryphon-shaped animal on which the Prophet 
rode in his night journey {mi''rdj),^ is made of wood, painted and 
decorated with the usual Musalman jewels on its nose, arms, 
neck, and ears. It is brought in procession from the painter's 
workshop, accompanied by reciters of elegies and torch- 
bearers, to the 'Ashiirkhana where it is placed facing the front 
before the standards. The Buraq was sent from Heaven by 
the Angel Gabriel to convey His Highness Muhammad 
Mustafa, ' The Chosen ' — on whom be the Peace ! — It has 
the head and face of a man, long ears, broad forehead, shining 
Like the moon, eyes black like those of a deer, and brilliant as 
the stars. Its neck and breast are those of a swan, its loins 
those of a lion, tail and wings like a peacock, in stature like 
the Hindu cow of plenty ^ or a mule, swift as the lightning 
(barq), whence the name Buraq. 

Many Hindus have so much faith in these cenotaphs, 
standards, and the Buraq, that they erect them themselves 
and become Faqirs during the Muharram. In Gujarat, as 
the cenotaphs pass in procession, poor Hindu and Musalman 
men and women, in fulfilment of vows, often throw themselves 
in the roadway and roll in front of the cenotaphs.^ Others 
hang red cotton threads round their necks, mark their brows 
with white powder, and live for the time on alms given by 
friends. In Gujarat on the ninth day of the festival some 
Hindu women wear wet clothes, a symbol of the ceremonious 
bathing after a death in the family, and drop pieces of hot 
charcoal on their bodies. They fast all day, and in the evening 
lick one of their fingers dipped in wet lime as a chastity test, 
and eat rice and sugar. Next day when the shrines are being 
taken to the river some low -caste Hindus, in the hope of 
securing the well-being of their children or the cure of some 
disease, offer to the shrines various kinds of food, coco-nuts, 
red threads, cloth, and even camels and elephants or the 

1 Koran, xvii. 1. 

'■' The Hindu Surablii, Kamadhenu, or Nandini, produced at the 
churning of the ocean, which grants all desires, and is reverenced as 
the fountain of milk and curds. 
^ » BG ix, part 2, 139. 


flesh of cock, goat, or buffalo, and with a coco-nut in their 
hands roll in front of the cenotaph.^ 

On the other hand, whenever the Muharram, according to 
the lunisolar calendar, chances to coincide with Hindu festi- 
vals, such as the Ranianavami or Ramnaumi, the birth of 
Rama, the Charakhpuja, or swing festival, or the Dasahra, 
serious riots have occurred as the processions meet in front of 
a mosque or Hindu temple, or when an attempt is made to 
cut the branches of some sacred fig-tree which impedes the 
passage of the cenotaphs. Such riots, for instance, occurred at 
Cuddapa in Madras in 1821, at Bhiwandi in the Thana District, 
Bombay, in 1837.^ In the case of some disturbances at Hyder- 
abad it is said that Hindus who act as Muharram Faqirs some- 
times take the part of the Musalmans against their co-religion- 
ists, and during this time do not eat any meat save that of 
animals which have been slaughtered by the Musalman 
ritual (zabh). 

During the thirteen days of the festival Musalmans are 
required to keep their houses and clothes clean, and their 
bodies pure and undeflled. They refrain from congress with 
women ; some from the first, others from the fourth, fifth, sixth, 
or seventh day do not eat meat, fish, or betel-leaf, and will not 
sleep on a cot, or if they do so it is turned upside doAvn, as it 
would be disrespectful to sleep on anything raised while their 
Imam or leaders stand on the ground. On the tenth day some 
partake of these luxuries, while others abstain from the tenth 
till the thirteenth day. Married women are not allowed to 
show their faces to their husbands during the ten days of the 
first Muharram after inarriage, and live apart from them. 
They observe the same taboo during the first thirteen days of 
the month Safar, the second month, known as the Terah TezI, 
of the sickness of the Prophet, during the Barah Wafat, froni 

' The coco-nut is believed by Hindus to represent the head of a victim 
(Crooke, Popular Religion, i. 46, 148, 227, 238 ; ii. 106). In parts of 
the Bombay Presidency it represents the sacred dead of the family 
(BG. XV, part 1, 205). Hence, as representing a human victim, it is 
thrown into rivers to check floods (ibid, ix, part 1, 350). See also Burton, 
AN. vi. 217 ; Forbes, Rds Mala, 323. 

- BG. xiii, part 2, 524 ; Edwardes, Gazetteer Bombay City, ii. 195 f. 
In the latter case the riots were between the Svmni and Shi'a sects. 

168 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

the first to the celebration of the Saint's death {^urs), in the 
month of RabI'u-1-sanI, the fourth month, because these are 
times of mourning, held unlucky, and no enjoyment should 
take place at these seasons. 

On the fifth day at every 'Ashurkliana, rich people at their 
reception halls (diwdnkhcina), merchants at their house gates, 
shopkeepers before their shops, set up a place {dbddrkMna, 
' waterman's house ', sabil, ' a way, road ') which is covered 
with a cloth and otherwise decorated, at which milk, sherbet, 
cooled and scented water are distributed to all comers, and 
these places are illuminated at night. On this day at Hyder- 
abad almost every body, men, women, old and young, especially 
those who are unmarried, seldom the married, wear a Faqlr's 
necklace (sell), made of cotton thread, silk, or hair, and bracelets 
(gajrd), made of coloured silk or flowers. Intelligent people 
think it unlawful to wear these ornaments as it is contrary 
to the Law. But in India people obey more than the obligatory 
ifarz) rites, the rubbing of perfumed powder (abir) on the faces 
of their children, dressing them in green clothes, and wearing 
such garments themselves. The higher and the more respect- 
able of the middle classes content themselves with merely 
tying a necklace on their necks and a bracelet on their wrists. 

During the festival many persons adopt the garb and mode 
of life of Faqirs, some wearing this dress on the fifth, a few on 
the second, and still fewer on the sixth or seventh. 

The following are some of these classes in southern India : 

The Sellwala, vulgarly called Suhellwala (suheld ' easy, 
feasible '), wear a Faqir's necklace {sell, dnti), made of coloured 
thread. This is emblematical of the two classes of Faqirs, 
known as Azad, ' free, unrestrained ', and Benawa, ' those who 
possess no worldly goods ', who become Faqirs through grief 
for the fate of the martyrs. They usually wear a hair necklace, 
but during the Muharram it is made of green or red thread, the 
former colour being said to represent that to which the corpse 
of Hasan was reduced soon after his death from the effects of 
poison, the latter the blood which fell from the body of Husain 
on the battlefield. These necklaces are made by the 'Attar or 
perfumers, or by the Patwa, makers of fringe and tape, who 
also weave bracelets of coloured thread ornamented with gold 


or silver known as ' remembrance ' (sumaran) or ' carrot- 
shaped ' (gajra). Before these are worn they put them on 
a tray with sweetmeats, fruits, rice cooked and dried in the sun 
(chunvcl), and a present in cash known as ' lamp-money ' 
(chirdghi, charaghi), for lighting lamps at the tomb of a Saint. 
After offering the Fatiha over these things they first put a 
small bracelet or necklace round one of the banners (shaddd) 
and then on their own wrists or necks. If the bracelet is worn 
only on one arm it is always the right, and the ' remembrance ' 
is worn on the right wrist. They wear the usual costume of 
Faqirs. After the Fatiha is recited, the Mujawir or tomb 
superintendent takes the lighting fee, some of the fruit, and 
returns the rest. In addition to these ornaments some tie 
pieces of green cloth on both the upper arms, while some 
Faqirs rub their faces with perfumed powder, hold in their 
hands an aloes wood pastile {'ud-hattl), and go about begging. 

The Benawa or ' indigent ' are also called Azad, ' un- 
restrained ', or Alif shahl, because they make a black line like 
the Arabic letter Alif or A down the forehead and nose. They 
wear on the head a tall Persian woollen cap {tCij, topi), a shawl 
or turban with a gold band round it (mandil), and on the neck 
a piece of cloth with a slit in the centre of its breadth through 
which the head is passed, and to which a collar is sewn on. 
One-third of the cloth hangs behind as low as the calf, and two- 
thirds is tucked in front into the waist-band {kamarband), so as 
to form a sort of bag to receive the contributions of the faithful. 
This dress is known as ' the shroud ' (kafan) or Alfa, because 
the Arabic letter Alif is marked on it. They also wear a thread 
necklace (sell), a rosary (tasbth), bangles on the wrist, a loin- 
cloth {lung, langoti, dhoti), and round the right ankle an orna- 
ment (ddl), flat, of the size of a crown piece, made of stone, bone, 
or mother of pearl, with a couple of holes through which it is 
fastened by threads below the outer ankle joint. This is some- 
times replaced by a silver bell anklet (tora), but some wear no 
ornament on the feet, apply coloured powder {abir) to the face, 
and carry in their hands a fan, a switch (dihari), a sword, or 
an iron javelin {sang). 

Faqirs of this class form a band {guroh) with various ranks 
and titles, under a director {murshid) or a leader of the troop 

170 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

(sargaroh), whom all agree to obey. Under him there is, ftrst, 
the Khalifa, who is second in command, like a Wazir to a King ; 
secondly, the Bhandari Shah, house steward or chief of the 
commissariat ; thirdly, the Iznl Shah, the ' caller ' or adjutant 
who assembles the troop and conveys orders ; fourthly, the 
'Adalat Shah, the ' lawgiver ', who is the director of movements 
or quarter-master ; fifthly, the Kotwal, or chief police officer 
who maintains order and discipline ; sixthly, the Dost or 
' friend ' ; seventhly, the Al-hukm-i-lillah, or commander ; 
eighthly, the Amr-i-lillah, or God's officer ; ninthly, the 
Naqibu-1-fuqara, ' the Faqirs' leader ', who marches in front of 
the troop and proclaims the praises and attributes of God, as an 
example to the other Faqirs. 

When they arrive at an 'Ashurkhana they draw up in two or 
three lines before it, and the Dost or ' friend ' calls out his title. 
The Kotwal replies ' Whatever pleases Him, the Almighty ! ' 
Then the Al-hukm-i-lillah calls out his own name twice from the 
right, and his colleague, the Al Amr-i-lillah re-echoes his name 
twice. After this the ' Adalat Shah repeats the introduction 
{(larja) of the Fatiha by himself in a loud voice, and at the end 
calls out ' Fatiha ', on which all the Faqirs repeat the first 
chapter of the Koran, the Suratu-1-hamd or Fatiha, once, and 
the Declaration of the Unity of God, Qui huw'AUah, Suratu-1- 
ikhlas, three times, recite the Benediction (durud), and finish 
by drawing their hands over their faces. Then the 'Adalat 
Shah repeats sentences or couplets describing the excellence of 
his own profession, the Law, to which the others respond ' Ek 
nara-i-Haidari ! ' an appeal to 'All, to which the others 
respond ' Yahu ! ' ' O He ! (God) '. Again he shouts a call to 
the Sacred Five — Muhammad, 'All, Fatima, Hasan, Husain : 
' Ek nara Panjtan, Panjpak ! ' and they answer ' Yahu ! ' 
' O He ! ' an appeal to the Four, Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Usman, 
'All ; ' Ek nara-i-char yar basafa ! ' to which they answer as 
before ; an appeal to the martyrs on the plain of Karbala : ' Ek 
nara-i-shahidan dasht-i- Karbala ! ' with the same answer. 

Then he shouts, ' O God ! Thou art the only true God, and 
there is none else ! ' to which they answer, ' He is One and there 
is no other with Him ! ' ' I give witness that the man Muhammad 
is His Apostle ! ' Then he cries out ' Grant me the dust that 


lies beneath that foot ! ' to which they answer, ' As collyrium 
for my eyes ! ' As they march the NaqIbu-1-fuqara calls out, 
' Guard your breath ! ' that is ' Have God's name always on 
your lips ! ' ' Keep your eyes on your feet as you walk ! ' that 
is, ' Constantly repeat the Kalima or Creed ! ' ' Travel in your 
homeland ! ' that is, ' Contemplate God and His works ! ' 
' In assemblies have private conference ! ' ' Even in a crowd 
have communion with God ! " By the grace of the Holy Five ! 
O 'All help me ! ' 

If the band halts at any 'Ashurkliana the superintendent 
gives them pipes and tobacco, sherbet, cloves, and cardamoms, 
and if he can afford it, a meal of rice boiled with pulse. These 
men are called Dasmasi or ' Ten Month Faqirs ', that is, for 
the ten days of the festival, as contrasted with the BarahmasI, 
' Twelve Months Faqirs', those who are permanent Faqirs all 
through the year. Amongst themselves they use as forms of 
address, ' Ya HadI Allah ! ' ' O Allah, the Guide ! ' ' Ya Mur- 
shid Allah ! ' ' O Allah, the Teacher ! " O Husain ! O Imam ! ' 
or Leader. If they call one they address him as Bawa, ' Father ', 
Data, ' Giver ', Dunyadar, ' He that possesses everything '. 
Rupees they call ' a trifle ' ; ' What will you not give a trifle ? ' 
(Jiaura-kaurl) to buy arsenic (sanbul), which they eat. If any 
one refuses to give alms they repeat the verse : 

' The generous are dead and only misers are left. There is 
no giving or taking, nay, they are ready to fight us ! ' 
When they are ready to start the Naqlb says : 
' Were the world filled with wind it could not blow out the 
light of the Elect ! ' 

' Sugar to the thankful, a thump to the denier ! ', to which 
they reply, ' We are on the road to Heaven, and our belief is 
that of the Prophet ! ' 

The word Majnian means ' possessed by the Jinn, demented '. 
They dress with a kind of fool's cap or long sugar-loaf cap of 
paper with a queue of paper hanging behind and trailing on 
the ground, ornamented with gold leaf. Sometimes this cap is 
made with panes of glass all round in the form of a lantern, 
with strips of tinfoil (begar) or tinsel, or white and red net-work 
paper hanging from the outside. Inside this they put a candle 
when they walk about at night. Instead of the cap they some- 

172 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

times wear a shawl, a red sheet or a piece of cloth, while others 
have a string of ripe lemons dangling round their heads . Round 
the neck a red, yellow, or white scarf is twisted and worn in 
the shape of a necklace {haddhl, hamel), or a shawl or handker- 
chief is passed through rings. They smear their bodies with 
powdered sandalwood and pipe-clay (khari). On each arm 
two or three handkerchiefs are tied and sometimes an armlet 
(baztlband) over them. At the waist they wear breeches (gurji) 
or a loin-cloth, in which they carry a whip (korla, kora), a dagger 
(katdr), a sword, a ' scorpion ' dagger (bichhud), a weapon 
(mdru) made of two antelope horns joined at the base, an iron 
javelin (sang), a scourge {qamchl), and a switch (chhari). 
Their ankles are bound with strips (ghanti) of coloured cloth, or 
they wear bell anklets (ghungni). Some get a couple of ' scor- 
pion ' (bichhud) toe-rings, fix lemons on the points of them, and 
fasten one on each arm. Thus equipped they go to the 'Ashur- 
khana and dance a circular whirling dance (ghumnd) to the 
sound of the tambourine (daf). There are four figures in the 
dance to which they keep time by chanting, ' 'All ! 'Ali ! 'All 
Bhum ! ' ' round we go ! ' 

The Laila take their name from the famous Bedouin love 
story of Laila and Majniin, told by Persian poets, especially 
Nizami. The man who represents Laila has the whole of his 
body, from head to foot, glued over with cotton wool, covering 
even his waistcloth, the only dress he wears. In his hands he 
holds a cup, sometimes full of pounded sandalwood or sherbet, 
or a human skull cap, a coco-nut shell, or the calabash (chippi) 
of a turtle, and a fan or paper nosegay. On his head he wears 
a three-cornered paper cap. 

The Bharang or Bharbhariya, ' foolish chatterer ', has his 
whole body besmeared with red ochre (Idl geru) mixed with 
water. His head is covered with a shawl, handkerchief, or 
coloured cloth with a small flag fixed in the top of it, and like 
the Majnun he wears shoulder-belts {hamel) made of cloth. 
On his legs he carries tinkling bells (ghungru, ghanti, zang), and 
he wears breeches (gurji). His loins are tightly girt, and as he 
dances he kicks his posteriors with his heels, calling out, 
' 'All ! 'All ! 'All ! Zang ! ' 

The Malang are said to be disciples of Jamanjati, a disciple of 


Zindci Shah Madar.^ The term is usually applied to any 
' unattached ' religious beggar who smokes drugs to excess, 
dresses in nothing but a loin-cloth, keeps fire always near him, 
and wears his hair very long tied into a knot behind. They are 
by religion half Hindus and half Musalmans. In Hyderabad 
those who personate them at the Muharram wear on the head 
a knob or knot of hair or of cloth passed through an iron ring 
(chakar) round which they twist red thread, gold or silver lace- 
edging (kindri), and narrow lace {goto). On each wrist they 
wear two or three metal bracelets (kard). The edge of a hand- 
kerchief (guluband) is passed under one ann and the two upper 
ends fastened over the opposite shoulder, while on the neck 
are strings of beads or rosaries [kanthd, mdld, tashlh). A sash 
(kamarhand) encircles the waist, a cloth covers the loins, while 
on the right ankle is an ornament {dal) or an anklet with bells. 
These men wander about, visit 'Ashurkhanas, and as they 
walk rattle their anklets and call out, ' Hail Shah Madar, Hail 
to Him ! ' Then one repeats the verse : ' Whatever you have, 
spend it in the road to Him (God). They will never gain good 
until they bestow it.' 

Anglthi Shah, ' King Chafing-dish ', has his head bare, or 
he wears only a red or green thread tied round it, a waist -cloth 
on his loins and an iron chain as a waistbelt. His body is 
rubbed with pipe-clay or cowdung ashes (bhabhUt), and he 
carries in one hand a pair of tongs (dastpandh). He walks 
about carrying a chafing-dish (angUhi), a fragment of an 
earthen pot held on the palm of his hand, containing live coals 
in which he heats one end of an iron chain while the other end 
fixed to a rope hangs by his side. Wlien he visits an 'Ashiir- 
khana he holds up the chain by the rope, dips it in oil which 
suddenly blazes up on the hot part, to the surprise of the 
onlookers, who wonder that he is not burnt by carrying the 
fire. This he manages to do without danger by filling the bottom 
of the potsherd with a mixture of the pulp of aloes and cowdung 
covered with ashes, which remains- cool and prevents the dish 
from burning his hand. 

The SidI or SayyidT, ' Master ', is an African negro, ten or 
twelve of whom blacken their bodies with lampblack and oil. 

1 Rose, i. 579 ; iii. 57. 

174 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

On their heads they wear a rough hat made of the skin of a 
sheep or goat, with the wool or hair on, or of a blanket or mat. 
Round the waist they have a small loin-cloth, skins with the 
hair on, blankets, sackcloth, or mats. In the left hand they 
carry a bamboo bow and in the right a coco-nut fastened to 
a short stick, the former containing some gravel which rattles, 
or sometimes it is covered with a cloth to which bells are 
attached. They dance to the rattling of the coco-nut, which 
they strike with the stick. Or they sometimes carry a rice- 
pounder (musal) in the left hand, which they strike with the 
stick held in the right. They twist their limbs about and 
mimic the jargon of negroes, or one of the party dresses like 
a negress, her face painted black like that of the men and 
dressed in the same way, her sex marked by a pair of hanging 
breasts. She beats the ground with a rice-pounder while the 
men dance round her and make jokes. 

The Bagla or Bagula represent paddy birds {ardea torra). 
Ten or twelve men, all of the same height, smear their bodies 
all over with cowdung ashes, wear white paper caps on 
their heads, and loin-cloths. They go about holding each other 
by the waist and imitate the call of the paddy-bird. One of 
them calls himself Bhirl or Bahri Shah, ' King hawk ', and 
dashes at the paddy-birds, who escape and hide in the crowd, 
while sometimes they catch one and run round to prevent 
him from escaping. 

The Kawwa Shah, or ' King crow ', smears his body 
with pipe-clay, wears a blanket coat with strings on his 
head and round his neck. They walk about making jokes, 
each of them holding a cage containing a crow, or a 
frog, or a branch of a tree with a crow fastened to it by 
its legs. 

The Hath-katore-wala, ' he that carries a jug in his hands ', 
wears a shawl, strings, or a piece of cloth on his head, a red, 
green, or yellow handkerchief round his neck, his face covered 
with sandalwood paste. Jug in hand he goes about singing the 
Muharram elegies, tales of battles, eulogia on great men, and 
collects alms in the jug. His song nms : 

' Paisa dena re Babu ! Paisa dena re Mai ! 
Paisa dena re Allah ! Hath katora diidh ka ! ' 


' Give us pice, Master ! Give us pice. Lady ! To him that 
carries the milk jug ! ' 

The Jalall or K3iakl are one of the regular Musalman Orders, 
founded by Sayyid Jalalu-d-d!n, a disciple of Bahawal Haqq, 
the SuhrwardI Saint of Multan, whose shrine is at Uchh in the 
Bahawalpur State. Kliaki means ' dust-covered '. They have 
no special dress, but wear fancy caps of various shapes and 
immense turbans made of straw, leather, or mat on their heads, 
rosaries and necklaces made of fruits. Some have their faces 
half blackened, their bodies covered with pipe-clay, garlands 
round their necks, and dried pimipkins hanging from their 
bodies. One of the band carries a hideous female doll which 
he says is the grandmother of one of the spectators, while 
others have a mock club made of leather with which they 
strike any poor man or woman who comes in their way. 

The Naqshbandi are followers of Khwaja Plr Muhammad 
Naqshband, the term meaning a cotton printer. They are 
specially revered by Afghans. ^ They worship sitting silent 
and motionless, with bowed heads and eyes fixed on the ground. 
Their dress is like that of the Benawa already described, but 
they wear in addition a shirt {kurtd, alfd). Their chief character- 
istic is that they carry a lighted lamp in the hand and appear 
only at night. The lamp has two compartments, one holding 
the oil, the other empty to receive alms. They walk through 
the bazars singing the praises of God and the virtues of light. 

' Lakh an kror kharch ka bandhe agar mahall, 
Khali para rahgaya, damrl ka nahin chiragh.' 

' If you spend millions on a palace it will be void if you have 
not a farthing's worth of light ! ' 

Men, women, and children follow them, and when any one 
brings a child to them they nib a little of the burnt wick of the 
lamp on his face to prevent him from crying and becoming ill- 

The Haji Ahmak or Hajl Bewuquf, ' Pilgrim Fool, Pilgrim 
Idiot ', wears a long cap, a shirt and coat with a necklace. 
Each has an enormous rosary, a wooden platter, and a long 
walking-stick. They have moustaches and beards reaching 

1 Rose, ii. 350 ; ERE. viii. 887. 

176 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

to the waist, wigs made of flax, and immense artificial paunches. 
They carry on coarse buffoonery before the 'Ashurkhanas. 

The Buddhi, Buddha, ' Old Woman and Old Man ', arc 
represented by two men on a platform, the man in a male 
mask, the woman in that of a female with an immense nose- 
ring. They carry on coarse buffoonery. 

Bagh, ' The Tiger ', imitates a tiger, running about with a bit 
of meat in his mouth, and springs at children. 

Matki Shah, ' King Pot ', is represented by some Jalall 
Faqirs, who carry about a pot containing dried gram which they 
rattle. They offer some of the gram to people and then stuff 
it into their own mouths, singing ludicrous verses. 

Chatni Shah, ' King Pickles ', dresses like a Jalall and 
pounds up spices in a mortar, saying, ' I am making pickles 
for the QazT, the Kotwal, or head police officer, the Subahdar, 
or captain '. Sometimes he adds intoxicants to the pickles and 
tries to induce people to eat them. 

Hakim, 'The Physician', dresses like a Benawa, and, moimted 
on a pony, he goes about with bags of herbs and makes 
ludicrous speeches. If any one asks him to feel his pulse he 
manages to touch it with cowhage or cow-itch {kiwdnch, macmia 
pruriens), which causes intolerable itching. 

Musaflr Shah, ' King Traveller ', dresses like the Benawa, 
pretends to be a traveller, cooks for himself, and distributes 
the food he makes. 

Mughal, ' The Mogul ', carries a rosary and a stick, and his 
attendants have each the title of Beg, or ' Carrot ' {gcljar), 
' Turnip ' (shalgham), ' Pepper ' {niirch), ' Egg-plant ' (baingan), 
with whom he makes jokes. 

Byajkhor, ' The Eater of interest, the Usurer ', makes jokes, 
pretends to offer his accounts, and demands payment. 

Murda-firosh, ' The Corpse -seller, Carrier of the dead ', 
carries about a representation of a corpse, and people paj' 
him to take it away. If a bribe is refused he burns chillies, 
hair, and other offensive substances on a plate, and says, 
' This is the scent which your souls will smell when you 
are dead ! ' 

Jhar Shah, ' King Tree ', dresses like a JalalT, takes a small 
tree, hangs all kinds of fruit on its branches and ties to it a 


crow by the legs, calling out, ' Take care ! CroucR ! A black owl 
has devoured the Prince of Fruits ! Off with you ! ' 

The Jogi is one of the Hindu Orders of ascetics . Men dressed 
like them come to the 'Ashurklianas playing on the guitar 
(sitdr), tambourine (daf), the small drum (dholki), and small 
tambourines (khanjari), sing songs and funeral dirges with 
much skill. 

The Baqqal is the Hindu Banya or shopkeeper, in Arabic 
and Persian a greengrocer. He is dressed like one of that caste, 
wearing a turban, streaks of ashes on his forehead with a spot 
in the centre made with a mixture of turmeric and quicklime, 
or sandalwood and turmeric. He has on his ears large Hindu 
earrings {pogal, kundal), bangles on his wrists, gold and silver 
finger-rings, round his waist a chain for holding his keys {kar- 
dhant, kardora, kordald), and a white cloth round his loins. He 
carries in his hand an iron stile and a bundle of palmyra leaves 
on which he writes his accounts. A sepoy goes with him 
who threatens him, ' You rascal ! You have overcharged 
me ! ' Pretending not to understand him, he abuses him in 

Shahbala, the ' best man ' at a wedding, the boy who attends 
the bridegroom to represent him and relieve him from spirit 
danger and the Evil Eye, comes dressed as a girl in fine clothes 
and Jewels and is seated on a platform. People from below 
chaff him and try to make him smile. If he shows a sign of a 
smile the curtain is dropped and raised when he regains serenity. 

The Sar be tan and the Tan be sar, ' the head without a body, 
the body without a head ', is a trick played by a man con- 
cealing his head in a hole or under a bed and showing only his 
body while another buries himself, leaving only his head over- 
ground. A blood-stained sword is laid near them and the 
ground is stained to imitate blood. Or two men personate 
robbers, while one dressed as a woman cries out, ' They have 
murdered my husband (or brother). Give me something that 
I may go and bury him '. The headless body is a common 
show at fairs in northern India. 

Naqli Shah, ' King Story-teller ', dresses like a Jalali, 
brings with him a dog, cat, rat, crow, and ass, and tells funny 


178 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xrv 

Kammal Shab, ' King Blanket '. Two or three people cut 
a hole in a blanket and peeping through repeat verses, such as, 
' One cock was killed at my wedding and a pound of rice dis- 
tributed to thousands. One pice paid for all, but when the 
accounts were made up three-quarters remained ! ' Or, ' My 
doting mother tenderly reared me. She decked me in a blanket 
and turned me out ! ' 

Khoglr Shah, ' King Saddle '. A man dressed like a Jalali 
wears a Musalman saddle on his neck and red and white 
strings tied round his head, while he pretends to give chase to 
boys. Or he sings : ' In every lane I saw heaps of sweets and 
a lady with a nose-ring cast longing eyes on them.' 

SharabT, ' The Drunkard ', is dressed like a Jalali and has a 
mark like the Arabic letter A painted on his forehead, while 
he carries a bottle full of sherbet and water, repeating mock 
verses from the Koran in praise of wine and drinking freely. 
Much debate goes on between him and the other Muharram 
Faqirs about the use of wine or pork. Sometimes he wears 
a leather Brahmanical cord (janeo, zunnar) round his neck. 

Qazi-i-la'm, QazT-be-dln, ' The cursed and irreligious Law 
Officer '. He wears a sleeveless shirt, his beard and moustaches 
are made of flax, and he counts a rosary while he preaches 
various absurdities contrary to the Law of Islam. 

Nawwab, ' The Prince, Nabob ', has his whole body wound 
round with straw, an enormous cap or turban of the same and 
beard and moustaches made of flax. He goes on horseback 
with attendants who carry an absurd tobacco pipe. He gives 
orders to his servants, and when he mounts he very often falls 
off on the other side. 

Mekh Shah, ' King Tent-peg ', is dressed like a Jalali, and 
drags bundles of tent-pegs tied by a rope to his waist. He 
threatens to drive a peg with his mallet into any one who dares 
to look at him or speak to him. 

Kliodim-garun, ' Digging and burying '. He wears on his 
head a straw cap or turban encircled with ropes, his body is 
covered with a mat through a hole in which his head is thrust, 
his waist is encircled with ropes, on his shoulder he carries 
a spade and on his back a screen. He goes about singing, 
' I throw down and bury whom I please ; for a small grave 


I charge a hundred rupees, Ave for a big on^ '. Then he seizes 
a rustic and pretends to bury him. 

Hunar Husain's Faqirs are two men dressed like the Benawa, 
save that their shirts are dyed with red ochre ; they have over 
their ears ringlets of natural or artificial hair, carry a small tray 
or winnowing basket (supli) with a couple of cakes of cowdung 
in it covered with fine handkerchiefs, adorned with flowers, and 
holding a fly-flapper they go about saying, ' The remains of 
a great man who did wondrous miracles are hidden here. Who- 
ever makes the circuit (tawdf) of his grave will never feel the 
torments of Hell Are. So make your wishes known to him ! ' 
Whenever any one asks to see him he shows him the contents of 
the tray, on which the inquirer retires abashed. 

The Nanakshahi or Nanakpanthi are followers of the Sikh 
Saint Nanak (a. d. 1469-1539).^ Four or five men assume this 
dress with coloured strings (seli) round their necks, a spot of 
lampblack in the centre of their foreheads, their faces smeared 
with sandalwood paste, on their necks a handkerchief in which 
a small copy of the Koran (hamdil) is fixed as an amulet, ^ 
a necklace of conch-shell such as that worn by Rajputs, and 
two coloured sheets round their waists. They carry a couple of 
clubs, visit 'Ashurkhanas, and, striking the clubs together, sing 
verses in honour of Husain. 

The 'Ghagriwala are so called because they wear on their 
thumbs brass rings (ghagri), inside which are little tinkling 
brass balls. Their dress is either white or red, their faces and 
bodies are rubbed over with cowdung ashes, they wear on their 
heads a sheet with coloured threads or fringes hanging to it, 
on their ears a feathered plume (turra), round each arm hand- 
kerchiefs tied like those of the Majnun, armlets (bazuband, 
bhujband), a waist -cloth and a tinkling ornament (torcl) on the 
right ankle. One of them, lamp in hand, goes in front, and two 
standard-bearei's carry white, green, or red colours. All of them 
with the exception of the 'Adalat Shah wear rings on the right 
thumb, and these they rattle as they sing ballads of the martyr- 
dom and the praises of Husain. In front of them a couple of 
Ramanlya, or dancing-boys, walk, each having a painted 
earthen pot with gravel inside or a yak-tail fly-flapper {chumar), 
> Rose, iii. 152 ff. » Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 142, 239. 


180 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

and so they dance and sway their legs, stooping or sitting down 
at the end of each verse. The leaders walk on each flank of the 
procession, and two men carry spears or long bamboos covered 
with coloured paper in front. While the troop halts they tie 
the spears crossways and stand with them so as to keep off 
other troops while they recite verses in honour of their spears. 

The Garuri Shah are snake-charmers or buffoons.^ They 
dress like the JalalT, each wearing a feather ornament (hirra) 
on his turban and carrying the pipe (pi'ingi) played by jugglers, 
Jogis, and snake-charmers. Wlien they halt they do juggling 

Chindl Shah, ' the Ragman ', ties rags round his body from 
neck to feet and walks through the bazars without saying 
a word. 

Khandar Shah, ' the Tatterdemalion ', or ' King Clout ', 
wears rags, a tattered quilt (khandari) and short breeches 
{cholnS) reaching to the knees. They beat each other with 
ragged handkerchiefs and at the 'Ashiirkhanas fall down and 
roll on the ground. 

Ghaliz Shah, ' King Filth ', has his forehead marked with 
a black spot, with a leather handkerchief round his neck, and 
wearing a loin-cloth. He has his whole body covered with 
honey to attract flies, and goes about reciting ludicrous and 
satirical verses. 

Richh Shah, ' King Bear ', is dressed in a black goat's 
skin with the hair outside, while two or three fellows in blankets 
imitate the growling of bears and frighten women and children. 

Burburga Shah, ' King Doubledrum ', is apparently identical 
with the Budbudge of the southern Deccan, Maratha fortune- 
tellers and beggars.^ In Hyderabad they wear big turbans of 
different colours and carry a double drum. When they see 
a man coming they say, ' I saw a good omen to-day. You will 
become a rich man and get a palanquin, elephant and horse '. 
They twang their drum and bless those they meet. 

The MarwarT dress like the people of Marwar or Jodhpur, the 
well-known moneylenders of western India and the Deccan. 

' The Garudi are a caste of snake-charmers found in the Bombay 
Presidency (BC. xiii 197; xix. 142; xxi. 224; xxiv. 116). 
» BQ. xxii. 200 f . 


With pen in ear, they carry account books, bags filled with 
potsherds to imitate coins, and strut about saying, ' Let us 
settle our accounts as we are going home '. They make coarse 
jokes to annoy any real Marwarls they meet. 

tint Shah, ' King Camel '. They make a camel of bamboos 
covered with paper, and a man standing in a hole within it 
walks along and personates the driver. 

Men and women often make a vow that if a child is born to 
them they will ' take out the anchor ' {langar nikalnd) yearly 
for three or twelve years, or so long as the child lives. This is 
done on the fourth or sixth day of the feast. They tie round the 
child's neck a string of flowers or leaves of the basil (sabza, 
ocymum basilicum), to which is sometimes added an iron chain 
trailing on the ground to represent an anchor. The child also 
carries a pastille of aloes wood shaped like a tree {'ud batti kd 
jhdr) and a standard, while boys with coco-nut leaves or little 
flags make a canopy over him. Coolies carry jars full of 
sherbet in the procession, which at night is accompanied by 
torches, and fireworks are discharged, and as they walk they 
shout ' Shah Husain ! Ya Imam ! Ya 'All ! ' When they 
come to an 'Ashiirkliana they walk thrice round the fire-pit 
and throw wood on it, the superintendent recites the Fatiha 
over food, some sherbet is poured into the pit and the attendants 
are fed. Other people, Hindus as well as Musalmans, vow to 
give flags, sherbet, food, money to light lamps, perfumes and 
flowers if they are blessed with a child. When rich people 
' take out the anchor ' they do so in state mounted on elephants 
with matchlockmen, drummers, and dancing-girls singing the 
elegies. The offerings are sometimes carried under a canopy 
(sMniiydna), the person giving them riding in a litter {'■amarl, 
ambdrl), or on an elephant. 

Women often make vows to be performed at the Muharram. 
Thus a woman vows that if her wish is granted she will sweep 
the ground about the 'Ashurkhana with her wet hair or bathe 
her head in fire. In the latter case she covers her head with 
a sheet, and the superintendent with a pot-skimmer (kafgir) 
throws some fire three times on her head and then brushes it 
off with a whisk. Or she vows that she will break her fast with 
no food save that which she has gained by begging, or that she 

182 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xiv 

will light a lamp with butter and have the Fatiha said over 
food, or that she will hang a flower (gend-gahvdrd) on one of the 
standards. When their wishes are granted they perform the 
vow. Some beg at a few houses, add some money of their own 
and have a gold ring (dur, bdoli) made which they get a gold- 
smith to fix in the ear of their son on the tenth day of Muharram. 
In the case of a girl they fix a ring {buldq) in the cartilage of her 
nose. Shi'as in Persia, when a girl is dangerously ill, vow that 
if she recovers they will marry her to a Sayyid, and a similar 
vow is made if they have been disappointed of children.^ In 
the Panjab barren women vow to offer a cloth, light a lamp and 
have the child's first tonsure done at a shrine, to put a necklet 
on the child, adding a coin to it yearly, and to give all to the 
poor when the child reaches the age of ten or twelve, to shave 
only half the child's head at a time, every week, or to leave 
a lock on his head to be shaved at a Saint's tomb.^ In Baroda 
there are three kinds of vows : to Saints, to the Muharram 
cenotaphs, and to spirits.^ In the Central Provinces Hindu 
Dhlmar fishermen beg food for an offering, take it to a Faqlr 
who dedicates it to the cenotaphs, and gives it to the people 
who dedicated it, this being the only occasion on which they 
will eat food touched by a Musalman.* 

On the tenth day, known as Shahadat ka Roz, ' the day of 
martyi'dom ', between 9 a. m. and 3 p. m. all the standards 
are taken to an open place near the sea, a tank or river, known 
as Karbala ka Maidan, ' the plain of Karbala '. Fire is lighted 
in the fire-pits round which they walk thrice and recite the 
Fatiha facing Mecca. Then they put a small coin with some 
milk and sherbet into an earthen pot, cover it, and lay it in 
the fire-pit which they fill up with earth, and fix a pomegranate 
branch on the mound. Next year the pot is dug up and some 
women for a consideration get the coins from the superintendent , 
bore holes in them, and hang them from the necks of their 
children to protect them from evil spirits. Some people after 
the fke-pit is closed pour sherbet over it and burn a lamp 
there for three or four days, as they do in the case of a real 

" Sykes, Tlie Glory of the Shia World, 67. 

2 Rose, i. 780 ; JRAI. xxxvii. 256. 

= Census Report, 1911, i. 100 f. * Russell, ii. 513. 


grave. As the standards pass their shops, the owners, in 
fulfilment of a vow, throw handfuls of sweetmeats or cowries 
on them, and people pick up the cowries as amulets for their 
children. Some people vow that if they recover from a disease 
they will roll on the ground in front of the standards as far as 
the Karbala plain. Men do this wearing only a loin-cloth, while 
women pour water over them to cool them, and their friends 
go in front removing stones and other obstacles from the 

In the Karbala plain a great crowd assembles, where sweet- 
meats and food are sold, tumblers, bear and monkey leaders 
perform, and swings are set going. Water and sherbet are 
dispensed to the thirsty, either gratis (sabil) or for a small sum. 
When the standards and cenotaphs are brought to the water 
edge, the Fatiha is recited in the names of the martyrs over 
food and sweetmeats, some of which are distributed, and some 
regarded as sacred and brought home. The tinsel is removed 
from the cenotaphs, and the standards which they contain are 
remoA-ed. Then the structures are dipped in the water .^ Some 
are thrown away, others reserved for future use . Men and boys, 
Hindus as well as Musalmans, try to catch the drops of water 
which fall from them and rub it on their eyes to strengthen the 
sight. Then the standards are packed up and the food is dis- 
tributed. The Buraq and Na'l Sahib are not dipped but taken 
back, the former to be painted afresh and the latter annually 
smeared with sandalwood paste. They wave flags over them, 
burn incense, repeat elegies, and bring them back to the 
'Ashurkhanas, where they make lamentations over them and 
distribute food. Those who have acted as Faqirs during the 
festival now lay aside the garb of mendicants and wash them- 
selves and their ornaments. The members of every band, 
before removing their Faqir dress, offer the Fatiha over sweet- 
meats, give some to their leaders, and eat the rest themselves. 
Some do not change their dress for three days. On this, the 
Day of Martyrdom, food is cooked in every house, the Fatiha 
is said over it in the name of Mania, ' Lord ', 'Ali, and the 
martyrs, and it is distributed to friends or given, in charity. 

1 This was, perhaps, originally a rain charm (Frazer, GB., The Magic 
Art, i. 247 S.). 

184 ISLAM IN INDIA chai'. xiv 

From the eleventh day, or sometimes from the twelfth or 
thirteenth, the people resume the eating of meat. 

On the Day of Martyrdom some people take out in the after- 
noon the ' war bier ' {ran kd dold, ran kl tabut), intended to 
represent the boxes or coffins in which the heads of the seventy- 
two martyrs were carried. Sometimes, as in Bengal, boxes of 
that number are used. They are made of strips of bamboo 
covered with white cloth. Like the cenotaphs they are taken 
in procession to the Karbala plain, and as they return people 
run beside them calling out, ' The Faith ! The Faith ! ' (din ! 
din !), every now and then halting, reciting the elegies and 
beating their breasts. When the boxes are brought back they 
are set up as before till the third day, when they are broken 
up and the pieces reserved for future use. 

On the third day comes the visitation of the standards, the 
terms used, ' third day ' {tlja) and ' visitation ' (ziydrat) being 
those used in the death rites. On the twelfth day, again, they 
sit up all night reciting elegies, reading the Koran and the 
praises (madh) of Husain. Early next morning, the thirteenth, 
they cook, eat, and distribute food in the name of the martyrs. 
That night they lay fruit, flowers, and other things near the 
standards, and after the Fatiha distribute the food of the dead. 
They then take down the sheds erected in front of the 'Ashur- 
khanas and store away the standards. Cloths borrowed for the 
festival are returned, but those which are ornamented are put 
away for future use. If any one wants any of them he may 
have them on payment {nazr). Some people in pursuance of 
vows take some of the cloth and hang it round the necks of 
their children to prevent the shadow of the Jinn and the Paris 
or fairies from falling upon them. Some in the same way 
observe the tenth, twelfth, and fortieth days of mourning by 
the distribution of food. On the tenth of the following month, 
Safar, dirges are sung and prayers offered for the souls of 
the martyrs, and on the fourteenth day, which corresponds 
to the twentieth of Safar, they observe the commemoration of 
the union of their heads and bodies {sar o tan) in the grave at 
Karbala. The fortieth day is known as ' the tumultuous 
assembly ', and the host provides coffee, betel, and sweetmeats 
for the reciters of the elegies. 


This ends the Muharram mourning for that year. During 
the ten days of the festival Musalmans should not work, have 
congress with women, drink any intoxicating liquor, or marry. 
If a death happens to occur during this period they must per- 
form the funeral rites, but this is the only work allowed. 
This, of course, does not apply to duty as public servants or to 
other work of necessity. The rites observed in southern India, 
of which the above is mainly an account, differ greatly from the 
distinctive mourning observances in the north, where no 
buffoonery such as that of the Muharram Faqirs takes place. 
Mummery of this kind is also practised by the Sunni Musal- 
mans in Bombay, while the ShI'as regard it as a real time of 
mourning. This is said to be largely based upon spirit beliefs 
and ghost-scaring borrowed from the Hindus.^ Such customs 
naturally are more prevalent in those parts of the country 
where the Musalmans are largely converts from Hinduism. 

* Edwardes, Gazetteer Bovhbay City, i. 184 flf. 




The Prophet, who died on the twelfth day of the month 
Rabi'u-1-awwal, in the eleventh year of the Hijra, June 8, 
A.D. 632, had been attacked by illness for thirteen days before 
his death. Hence the first thirteen days of the month Safar, 
which is called ' victorious, auspicious ' (muzaffar), are known 
as the ' Thirteen of heat or fever ', Terah Tezi, and they are 
held to be unlucky because the Prophet— on whom be the 
Blessing ! — was seriously ill, and his condition is said to have 
shown signs of improvement on the thirteenth day. Should 
a marriage take place about this time, bride and bridegroom are 
not allowed to meet, nor should any good work be undertaken. 
On the thirteenth, or rather on the twelfth, calculated from 
the evening on which the moon becomes visible, all bathe. 
They take some pulse {mash, phaseolus radiatus), wheat and 
sesamum, mix them, put a small cup of oil on the tray in which 
the grain is laid, look three times on their faces reflected in the 
oil, and each time drop a few grains of the corn into it. They 
also put some eggs and small coppers in the tray, and the whole 
contents are given away to Faqirs and the Halalkhor out- 
casts, ' those to whom all things are lawful food '. They them- 
selves on that day eat rice and pulse, sheep's head and its offal, 
and send some to relations and friends. Others mix gram and 
wheat with sugar, coco-nut kernels, and poppy seed, and recit- 
ing the Fatiha, in the name of the Prophet— on whom be the 
Blessing ! — ^throw some on the roof of the house, eat and dis- 
tribute the rest. There is no reason for ceremonial bathing on 
this day, a new custom introduced by women. 

The Akhirl Chahar or Char-shamba, meaning ' the last 
Wednesday ', is the last Wednesday of the month Safar, the 
second month of the Musalman calendar. On this day the 
Prophet showed some relief from the disease which ended his 


life on the twelfth of the following month. On this day, 
therefore, every Musalman, early in the morning, writes or 
causes to be written the seven Salams or ' greetings ' with 
saffron water, ink, or rose-water on the leaf of a mango tree or 
a sacred fig-tree (pipal), or that of a plantain. The Salams 
with the Koranic references are as follows : ' Peace ! shall be the 
word on the part of the Merciful Lord ! ' (xxxvi. 58) ; ' Peace 
be to Noah throughout the worlds ! ' (xxxvii. 77) ; ' Peace be 
to Abraham ! ' (xxxvii. 109) ; ' Peace be on Moses and Aaron r 
(xxxvii. 120) ; ' Peace be on Elias ! ' (xxxvii. 130) ; ' All 
hail ! Virtuous you have been ; enter then [into Paradise], to 
abide there for ever ! ' (xxxix. 73) ; ' And all is peace till the 
breaking of the morn ! ' (xcvii. 5). They then wash off the 
writing in water and drink it in the hope that they may be pre- 
served from affliction and enjoy peace and happiness.^ This 
is a Sunni observance, but Shi'as consider the day unlucky and 
call it Charshamba-i-Surl, ' The Wednesday of the Trumpet ', 
that is, of the Day of Judgement, an opinion now held in 
Hyderabad, and hence baths are usually taken the day before.^ 
These writings are done gratuitously by Maulavis and teachers. 
It is proper to bathe on this day, to wear new clothes, to use 
rose-water Citr), to make sweet cakes {gulguld) fried in butter. 
Over these the Fatiha is said ; they eat some and distribute the 
rest, walk in the gardens and say prayers. Some of the lower 
orders employ dancing-girls to sing and dance in the garden 
or at home, and regale themselves with toddy (sendhi) and other 
liquors. On this day schoolmasters give their pupils the gifts 
of the festival {'idi), verses written on coloured paper with the 
boy's name inscribed below, and the boys are told to take them 
to their parents and read them, in return for which a present 
of a rupee or two is sent to the teacher. 

* For charms written, washed off in water and drunk, see Erazer, 
Folklore in O.T., ill. 412 ff. ; Crawley, 116 ; Thurston, Castes, iv. 489; 
Ethnographic Notes, 357 ; Lane, AIE. i. 320. For the remarkable 
vessels engraved with charms, out of which potions were drunk in 
Babylonia, see A. H. Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, 509 ff. 

* Bilgrami-Willmott, Sketch oj Nizam's Donhinions, i. 364. 




The third month of the Musahnan year, Rabl'ul-awwal, is 
commonly called that of the twelve days of sickness ending 
in death, Barah Wafat, because on the twelfth day His Excel- 
lency the Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa, the Chosen — on 
whom be the Peace ! — departed this life. On this day accord- 
ingly the following Fatiha should be observed by all Musalmans, 
both Arabs and foreigners. All must perform it because its 
virtues surpass those of the Muharram and every other Fatiha. 
It is one of the three days on which Sunnis mourn, the others 
being the Muharram and the Shab-i-Qadr, or Night of Power. 
Men employed in the public service should obtain leave of 
absence for a couple of days to enable them to celebrate the 
Sandal on the eleventh and the 'Urs, or death day rite, on the 
twelfth. Learned men at mosques or at home rehearse during 
the first twelve days the praises and excellency of Muhammad 
Mustafa — on whom be the Peace ! — as contained in the Hadis 
or Traditions, and explain them to the lower classes in their 
own language. Some assemble daily, morning and evening, 
at their houses or in the mosques, read the Koran and cook 
stew, rice, and pulse, unleavened bread, meat stew (qaliya) or 
rice boiled in milk (shirbirinj). Each man's portion is arranged 
separately on the table-cloth (dastarkhwdn), aloe wood is burnt, 
the Fatiha is said both before and after eating in the name 
of the Prophet — ^the Peace be on him ! — so that the benefits of 
the Koran may influence their souls. 

Musalmans believe that men have three souls or spirits : 
the lower or animal spirit (ruhu-s-sufli) ; the travelling spirit 
(ruhu-l-jdri) which leaves the body in sleep and causes dreams ; 
the lofty spirit (ruhu-l-ulwl) which never leaves the body, even 
after death. ^ 

Some people keep in their houses the Qadam-i-rasxil, or 

* Others add to these : ruhu-n-nabdtt, the vegetable spirit ; ruhu-t- 
tubi^i, the animal sijirit ; ruhu-l-Ildhl, the divine spirit ; ruhu-l- 
muhkam, the resident spirit ; ruhu-l-ilqa.\ the spirit of casting into, used 
for Gabriel and the spirit of prophecy (Hughes, 547). 


footprints of the Prophet in stone,^ preserved in a box covered 
with rich clothes. On this day the plate on which the stone 
is kept is decorated, the chest is covered with brocade and the 
Qadam-i-mubarak, or ' blessed foot ', is placed in it, or in a 
cenotaph surrounded with fly-whisks. As is the case at the 
Muharram the house is illuminated, music is played, frankin- 
cense is burnt, and the fly-whisks are waved over it. Five or 
six persons in the form of an elegy (marsiya) repeat the birth 
service and the benediction {maulud, duriid), the miracles 
{?nu''jizat) and the account of the death {wafatnama) of the 
Prophet, the last in HindostanT, so that people may under- 
stand and feel sympathy and sorrow for him. On the eleventh 
and twelfth days, processions, as on the night of the Muharram, 
take place. 

On the eleventh day in the evening or a little before sunset 
some people perform the Sandal of the Prophet — on whom be 
the Peace ! — ^that is to say, they put one or more cups full of 
perfumed powder (argaja) or sandalwood paste on one or more 
models of Buraq, in a tray, or in a cenotaph which is called 
' the Henna ' or ' the Mosque ' (menhdl, masjid), and cover it 
with a flower sheet. Along with these are carried trays of 
cakes with music and fireworks, while the benediction and birth 
service are recited. Thus they proceed to the place where the 
footprint of the Prophet is kept. On arriving there, after 
saying the Fatiha, each person dips his hand in the sandal 
paste or perfumed powder and rubs a little on the foot-print. 
The flower sheet is spread over it and the cakes are given to 
those present. The reason why the sandalwood is carried on 
an image of Buraq is that this was the steed of the Prophet. 
The Buraq really should not be brought out at the Muharram, 
but only at this rite, so that the people may know that it was 
on this animal that Muhammad Mustafa — Peace be on him ! — 
ascended into Heaven.^ But according to the Shar', or Law, 

' Compare the veneration of the footprints of Buddha, the Buddha- 
pada, which preceded the use of images, and the Vishnupada, or foot- 
prints of Buddha (A. Griinwedel, Buddhist Art in India, 71 f. ; Monier- 
Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 309 ; Crooke, Things Indian, 231 f.) 

* ' After this an animal was brought for me to ride, its sex between a 
mule and an ass; it stretched as far as the eye could reach' (Mishkat, 
11. 691). 

190 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xvi 

the keeping of such models, as well as pictures, in the house is 
unlawful. The Buraq is left near the foot-prints till the thir- 
teenth day. As a rule, the person in charge of the foot-print 
makes a Buraq and carries out the sandalwood on it, and people 
in performance of vows make offerings to the foot-print. 

On the twelfth or 'Urs, the day of the union of a Saint with 
the Supreme Spirit, they sit up all night reading the Koran and 
other sacred books, and cook stew and distribute it. The 
women bring food, aloes wood and money for lighting the lamps 
to the foot -print, burn frankincense, recite the Fatiha, give 
some sweets to the man in charge, pour butter into the lamps, 
and bring the rest home. More butter than what is wanted for 
the lamps is usually offered, and the man in charge keeps the 
surplus for his own use. Aloes wood pastilles are burnt near 
the foot-print for the first twelve days of the month. This 
food for the Prophet usually consists of rice boiled in milk, 
because he was particularly fond of that, and used to call it 
the ' Sayyid among foods ' (sayyidu-t-ta'-am). When rice-milk 
and cakes are offered the rite is called ' full ' (purd). Some 
people keep a sacred relic {asar-i-sharif, asar-i-muharak), that 
is to say, a hair of the beard or moustache of the Prophet. 
This is preserved in a silver tube surrounded with coloured 
powder (abtr), and this is held in higher honour even than the 
foot-print. Food is offered before it, the benediction is said, 
and there are illuminations and music. But most of these 
hairs are counterfeit. Hairs of the Prophet are exhibited at 
many places, as at the Jami'Masjid at Delhi. The ' blessed 
hair ' (mu-i-mubarak) from the beard of the Prophet was placed 
in the Jami'Masjid or cathedral mosque at Rohri in Sind by the 
famous mystic, 'Abdu-1-Qadir al Jllani.^ 

The Nauroz or New Year's Day festival was transferred by 
the Persians from the winter to the summer solstice, the former 
being known as the Mihrjan festival. ^ It is a distinctly Shl'a 
observance, hence it was abolished by Aurangzeb, a devoted 
Sunni, who transferred it to the coronation festival in the month 
Ramazan.3 ' H commences on the day when the Sun in splendour 

1 Burton, Sind Revisited, ii. 220. 

'^ Albiruni, Chronology ojtlie Ancient Nations, 199 ff. ; BO. ix, part 2, 216. 

* Jadunath Sarkar, Lije of Aurangzib, ii. 299 ; ill. 93. 


moves to Aries [March 21], and lasts till the nineteenth day of 
the month Farwardln, the first month of the Persian year. Two 
days of this period are considered great festivals, when much 
money and numerous things are given away in presents '.^ 
In Persia it still retains ancient observances, modified by 
Islam. It lasts three days from the entrance of the Sun into 
the sign Aries, and it differs from the old Persian festival in the 
diminution of its duration and in the absence of all religious 
observances. There are no processions, still less any offerings 
of food to the dead, but all people as they meet say, ' Blessed 
be the feast ! ' (Hd tnubarak), and send gifts to the poor. All are 
dressed in their best and share in amusements.^ In the time of 
Aurangzeb ' the palaces were decked inside and out with high 
and costly hangings, made by order of Shahjahan along with 
the throne like a peacock . . . persons of the blood royal are 
weighed, according to ancient custom, in different ways — that 
is to say, first against seven kinds of metals, such as gold, silver, 
copper, iron, et cetera ; the second, against seven kinds of 
cloth, cloth of gold, cloth of silver, velvet, et cetera. All the 
things weighed out are given to the poor, and what everyone 
has weighed is recorded in a book in memory of the occasion '.^ 
Aurangzeb for himself abolished the custom, but he allowed 
it in the case of his sons, on their recovery from illness, on con- 
dition that the money should be distributed in charity.* In 
modern times it is observed by giving presents. If it occurs 
during the day, ladies throw a fresh-plucked rose, blossom 
downwards, into a basin of water, and this is supposed to turn 
of itself when the Sun passes into the sign Aries.^ The Basant- 
panchami, the Hindu feast held at the vernal equinox, March 31 , 
was the form observed by the Kings of Oudh.^ 

» Ain, i. 183, 276. 

2 Morier, Journey, 206 ; Malcolm, Hist, of Persia, i. 404 ff. ; Browne, 
A Year amongst the Persians, 216 ; Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, 
198 ff. ; Wills, Land of the Lion and the Stm, 48. 

^ Manucei, ii. 348 : On the weighing of Akbar, Ain, i. 266 ff. ; of 
Prince Khurram, ElHot-Dowson, vi. 341. 

* Jadunath Sarkar, iii. 97. 

5 Mrs. Meer Hassan All, 1.'52 flf. 

Ibid. 154. 



The festival of the Saint Plr-i-dastagir or PIr-i-dastglr is 
held on the Gyarahvm, or eleventh day of the fourth month, 
Rabi'u-1-sani. His Excellency — May God sanctify his beloved 
sepulchre ! — ^has no less than ninety-nine names. But the 
chief and best known are : Plran-i-Pir, ' chief of Saints ', 
Ghausu-1-a'zam, ' the great Saint ', Ghausu-s-samdani, ' the 
eternal Saint ', Mahbub-i-subhani, ' the beloved, divine ', 
Miran Muhiyu-d-din, ' the reviver of religion ', Sayyid or 
Shaikh 'Abdu-l-qadir JllanI, Hasaniu-1-Husaini, the founder 
of the Qadiriya Order of mendicants, taking his name, JilanI, 
from his birthplace, Gllan or Jilan, properly Kil o Kilan, in 
western Persia. He was born in a. d. 1078 and died at Bagh- 
dad February 22, 1166, where his tomb is still held in great 
veneration. He is esteemed the chief Wall or Saint, a worker 
of miracles, who appears at times to his disciples and gives them 
instruction. In the Panjab he is venerated by the Hijras or 
eunuchs.^ The Author, Ja'far Sharif, speaks from experience, 
because when oppressed in mind concerning things which he 
desired he used to repeat his ninety-nine names, and make a 
vow before God Almighty imploring His aid by the spirit of 
PTr-i-dastagir, and, by the mercy of God, His Excellency 
Ghausu-1-a'zam presented himself to him in his sleep, relieved 
him from his perplexities, and accomplished his desires. Let 
men of my faith disbelieve this assertion if they please, or think 
that I make it in order to enhance the dignity of my PIr or to 
aggrandize myself. If it proves true, may God's curses descend 
on those who disbelieve it, and may their religion and liveli- 
hood be annihilated ! Sunnis consider Plr-i-dastaglr a great 
personage and have a fervent belief in him, but some Shi'as in 
their ignorance slander him by asserting that this Pir, Mahbiib- 
i-subham — May God have mercy on him ! — occasioned the 

' Rose, ii. 331. 



death of His Excellency Imam Ja'far — May God bless him ! — 
by causing him to swallow molten lead. This charge is based 
on malice, for no less than 250 years elapsed from the days of 
His Excellency Imam Ja'far Sadiq, ' the Just ', the sixth Imam 
(a.d. 702-63) and those of His Excellency Mahbub (a.d. 1078- 

On the tenth of the month Rabi'u-s-sani they perform his 
Sandal, and on the eleventh his Charaghan, or Chiraghan, or 
lamp festival. On the evening of the tenth they carry out a 
large green flag with impressions of the spread hand (panja) 
made on it with sandalwood paste, and bringing with it sandal- 
wood, cakes {malida), sugar, flowers, and aloes, with torches and 
music, they perambulate the town in state, go to the place 
appointed and set up the standard. Then offering the Fatiha 
in the name of the Pir, they put flowers and sandalwood on the 
flag and distribute the cakes to the people. On the eleventh 
day they cook food, recite the birth service and the benediction 
(maulild, durud), give a recital of the whole Koran which takes 
two days, and repeat the ninety-nine names of the Saint. 
In Gujarat the poor light eleven or twenty-two lamps, and in 
the houses of the rich small leafless trees or green embroidered 
frames (mahdi) are decorated with eleven lamps and covered with 
gifts of food and sweets for the children. At night powdered 
sugar bread (malida) is eaten. ^ 

Wlien cholera or any other plague is raging they take out 
the flag (jhandcJ) of the Saint, perambulate the town, halting 
every now and then as the call to prayer {azdn) is raised. Both 
Hindus and Musalmans make gifts and put them in the pot 
C'udddn, ''udsoz) in which the aloes are burnt. Sometimes they 
offer the Fatiha over sweetmeats or sugar, bring the flag back 
and set it up in its place. This is done on one, three, five 
successive Thursdays in the month. Many people make little 
flags in the name of the Saint and set them up at their houses 
over the doors to secure themselves from misfortune. Usually 
by these means the plague is averted. 

Some people vow that if, by the mercy of the Saint, they are 

* Ja'far Sadiq, ' the veracious ', so called on account of the uprightness 
of his character, the sixth Shi'a Imam. 

^ BG. ix, part 2, 140. Compare the Christmas tree of Europe. 


194 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xvii 

blessed with a son or daughter, they will make him, or her, his 
slave. Should their wishes be accomplished, on the tenth or 
eleventh of this month they fix on the child a large silver anklet 
ring {halqa, beri), on which year by year they pass a smaller 
ring. They cook cakes, place on them eleven small lamps made 
of flour paste, and light them with red cotton wicks soaked in 
butter. They burn aloes and put the ring on the child, if it be 
an anklet on the right ankle, if it be a collarette (tauq) round 
the child's neck. Instead of these>some people have a silver 
or leathern belt (baddhi) bound round the waist of the child. 
Most people say the Fatiha over a little stew, others invite 
friends and Faqirs. This Fatiha is called the Gyarahvin, or 
' eleventh ', the day of the Saint's death, but, as a matter of 
fact, he died on the 17th Rabi'u-s-sanl, February 22, 1166. 
But as for eleven days in every month he was in the habit of 
reciting the Fatiha in the name of the Prophet — on whom be 
the Peace ! — ^the former date is kept for reciting the Fatiha 
in his name, but some perform this rite on any day in the 
month. Some have a cenotaph (menhdl) made of green paper 
or of wood painted green, ornamented with silver, and on his 
death day {'urs) they hang on it flowers, a bridegroom's veil 
(sihara) and fruits, fresh or dry, light lamps and set it up. 
Many people make a formal procession round the town and col- 
lect money or grain in a metal or earthen pot {tambalu, maikl) 
covered with cloth, in which a rent is made. Through this 
they put in a coin daily, either money or cowries. On the death 
. day they take out the contents of the pot and with the money 
perform the rite. 

The sister's son of the Saint was Sayyid Alimad Kabir 
Rafa'I, from whom the Order of Faqirs known as Rafa'I, 
Gurzmar, Munhphora, Munhchira, so called because they are 
in the habit of gashing their faces and bodies with a sort of 
spiked mace {gurz) hanging to a chain, is derived. By another 
account, however, this Order was founded at Baghdad in 876 
of the Hijra era, a.d. 1471, by Ahmad-ar-Rifa'a.^ 
1 Macdonald, 267 ; Rose, ii. 321 f. 



By one account His Excellency Shah Badiu-d-din or Zinda 
Shah Madar, Ghazi Miyan, was a converted Jew, born at 
Aleppo, A.D. 1050, who is said to have died at Makanpur, 
40 miles from Cawnpore in that District of the United Pro- 
vinces of Agra and Oudh. He is called Zinda, ' the living one % 
because he is supposed to be still alive, the Prophet having 
given him the power of living without breath. He used to 
wear black clothes, and neither married nor had congress with 
women. His shrine is visited by crowds of pilgrims, both 
Hindus and Musalmans. Women are excluded from his shrine 
because it is believed that any woman entering is immediately 
seized with violent internal pains, as if her whole body were 
immersed in flames of fire. As in the case of Pir-i-dastaglr, 
people make vows to him and in his name put belts (baddhi) 
of gold and silver round the necks of their children. He is 
supposed to have died on the seventeenth day of the fifth 
month, Jamadiu-1-awwal, and some people on that day, others 
on its eve, make dishes of wheaten flour, meat cakes {satrl), 
and other food, put seventeen lamps on it and then put the 
belt on the child .^ 

Some perform the rite of fire-walking in the name of the 
Saint. This is known as Dhammal kudna, dhammal meaning 
' the place of virtuous conduct ' (dharma), and kudna, ' to 
leap'. They kindle a large fire, send for the Tabaqati, or 
Faqirs of this Order, and give them a present. The Faqirs re- 
cite the Fatiha, sprinkle sandalwood in the fire, and then the 
chief of the band leads the way by jumping into it, calling out, 
' Dam Madar ! Dam Madar ! ' ' the breath of Madar ', this, 
as among the Persians,^ being supposed to be a protective 

1 See Mrs. Meer Hassan AH, 374 ; Dabistan, ii. 224 ; Rose, ii. 160 tf. ; 
Census Report, Panjab ,1891, i. 196 f. ; Wise, Notes, 13 f. 
^ Morier, Journey, 101. 


196 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xviii 

against the flames, the bite of a snake, or the sting of a scorpion. 
Then the rest follow him also shouting ' Dam Madar ! ', and 
tread out the fire. Their feet are washed with milk and water 
and they are found to have received no injury. 

The rite of ' plundering the cow ' (gdi lutdnd) is done by 
vowing a black cow, usually on the supposed birthday of the 
Saint, 17 Jamadiu-1-awwal, either at one of their houses or at 
a lodge (dstana) of the Order. It is slaughtered in the Musalman 
ritual fashion (zabh), in the name of the Saint, and the meat 
is distributed among the Faqirs. In some places a standard 
('atom) is set up at one of the lodges with a black flag fastened 
to it, and on the seventeenth day they perform the death rite 
C'urs) of the Saint, or on the proceeding day they do the Sandal 
rite, as in the case of Plr-i-dastagir. On both nights they sit up 
singing the praises of the Saint. On the anniversary of his 
death they have illuminations and vigils. This standard is kept 
all the year round in its appointed place, and it is never re- 
moved, as is done with the Muharram standards. 



The shrine of the Saint Qadirwali Sahib is situated in the 
town of Nagor, a suburb of the town of Negapatam (Naga- 
pattanam, ' the town of the Naga or serpent race ') in the 
Tanjore District, Madras, a stronghold of the Marakayyan 
traders, a mixed class of Musalmans, who, with the Labbais 
and Mappillas, members of the Shafi'ya sect, are his chief 
votaries.^ The Saint has been by some authorities identified 
with Muinu-d-din Chishtl, the famous Saint of Ajmer,^ but 
he appears to be a local worthy. His Sandal celebration is 
held on the ninth of the month Jamadiu-l-akhir or -sani, the 
sixth month, and on the tenth his death anniversary {'urs) is 
observed in the usual way by preparing food, reading the birth 
service {maulud) of the Prophet, by keeping a night vigil, and 
by illuminations. About Rs. 10,000 are spent on this occasion. 
On the eleventh day they ' break the rice and milk pot ' {khlr 
ki hdndl), that is to say, when they observe the new moon, or 
on the second or fourth day after it, a leader (sarguroh) of one 
of the groups (silsila) of his devotees, or a Faqlr of the Malang 
Order, sits on a mattress or quilt spread on the ground in 
a closet, and spends the whole time there without drinking 
or obeying the calls of nature, engaged in the worship of the 
Deity. He does not leave this place or speak to any one till 
the eleventh, when the attendants (mujavir) cook rice milk in 
a large pot, which is carried on the head of one of them to this 
Faqlr. He recites the Fatiha over it and tastes a little. Then 
leaving the closet, he joins the band of Faqirs to which he 
belongs, while the attendants take the pot in procession to 

' lOI. xix. 2 ff. ; Thurston, Castes, v. 1 £f. ; iv. 198 ff., 455 fif. 
^ Garcin de Tassy, Memoire sur des particularities de la religion 
Musalmane dans VInde, 63. 

198 4 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xix 

the sea beach and there dash it in pieces. All the people present 
scramble for some of the rice milk, and take up so much of the 
sand that they leave a large hole. But strange to say, it is said 
that no one is ever hurt in the struggle. A few days after the 
death celebration many bodies of Faqirs, from far and near, 
assemble (chauk baithe hain) in this place, but the different 
bands, each under their own leaders, sit apart. If any Faqir 
has been guilty of a breach of discipline he is punished by 
the leader at this meeting, the penalty being that he is com- 
pelled to carry the bedding of all the assembled Faqirs, or 
in some other way he must express his contrition, beg for 
mercy, and give a written engagement to behave better in 
future. He is then restored to membership, but if a serious 
charge is proved in the presence of the assembly {jamd.''u-llah), 
his leather loin strap is cut in two and he is excommunicated. 
In this case he can never rejoin the Order. The same pro- 
cedure is followed at the annual death rites of other Saints, 
such as Tabar-i-'alam, Baba Budan or Hayat Qalandar, Baba 
Faqru-d-din, and others. When a Faqir, or one of their PIrs 
or leaders, has never attended one of the Saint's death rites 
he is considered an unfit member of the Order. At some of 
these celebrations Faqirs accept money from the attendant 
(mujdvir), distribute it among themselves and depart. Musal- 
man ship captains and sailors make vows and oblations in the 
name of His Excellency Qadirwali Sahib. For instance, when 
they meet with disaster at sea, they vow that if they and their 
cargo reach land in safety they will spend a certain sum of 
money in offering the Fatiha in his name. When they first 
see the new moon of the month in which he died they set 
up a flag, known as ' the centipede ' (gom), five or six cubits 
long and shaped like a centipede. In other places, too, devo- 
tees of the Saint fly a ' centipede ' flag in his honour and offer 
the Fatiha yearly in his name, but some merely say the Fatiha 
over some cakes in his honour. The cult of this Saint is a re- 
markable instance of the devotion of Hindus to Musalman 
worthies ; in fact, both creeds claim him as a member, the 
explanation being that he used to preach to both classes. 
A Hindu Raja once made a vow that if he was blessed with 
a son he would enlarge and beautify the mosque near the 


Saint's tomb, and there was a close connexion between the 
Hindu royal family of Tanjore and this Saint. ^ 

Innumerable miracles of the Saint are described, of which 
the following are the best known, A ship sprang a leak at sea 
and the Nakliuda, or captain, vowed that if Qadirwali stopped 
the leak he would on reaching land dedicate to him the profits 
of the cargo and offer a couple of gold and silver models of 
the ship.2 The Saint at the time was being shaved, and 
learning the danger of the ship he threw away the barber's 
looking-glass, which, by the dispensation of Providence, flew 
through the air to the vessel, stuck to its side, and stopped the 
leak. When the ship came safe to land the captain, in obedience 
to his vow, brought his offering in gold and a gold and silver 
model of his vessel. The Saint ordered him to restore the 
looking-glass to the barber, and when the skipper in amaze- 
ment asked what looking-glass he meant, the Saint replied 
that it was that which stuck in the leak. The skipper found 
it there and returned it. 

On another occasion the Saint, who is said to have passed 
his life in the desert and never to have seen a woman, was 
bathing at a tank and noticed a woman with unusually large 
breasts, it being the custom of women in this part of India not 
to cover the upper parts of their bodies. He imagined that 
she was suffering from abscesses, and in compassion for her he 
prayed, ' Grant, O God, that these abscesses may be removed ! ' 
On this her breasts withered away. In her grief she told her 
friends that a Faqir had seen her, and by mumbling some 
words had caused her breasts to disappear. They went to the 
Saint who told them that he supposed that she was suffering 
from disease, but as he now learned that they were natural 
he hoped the Almighty would restore them to their original 
state. When he said this her breasts reappeared. Near the 
tomb of the Saint is a coco-nut grove. The tax-gatherer 
claimed the tax for it, but the owner replied that the trees 

1 Sell, 262 f . 

^ Me tabula sacer 
Votiva paries indicat uvida 
Suspendisse potenti 
Vestimenta maris deo. — Horace, Odes, i. v. 13-16. 

200 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xix 

belonged to the Saint and that they had never been assessed. 
The other insisted that the tax should be paid, adding that 
as the coco-nuts had no horns he was not afraid of them. 
Strange to say, horns grew on the coco-nuts, and they still 
hang near his blessed shrine, while from that day to this the 
tax has never been collected. God alone knows whether these 
things be true or not. I, says Ja'far Sharif, state only what 
I have heard. May the guilt of the lie be on the neck of him 
who invented it ! 





The festival of the Saint Rajab Salar is known as ' the 
table-cloth, or napkin ' (kandurl), and it takes place on any 
Thursday or Friday in the month Rajab, the seventh month. 
Rajab Salar, known as Sayyid Mas'ud Ghazi, is said to have 
been the nephew of Sultan Mahmud of GhaznT, and was slain 
in battle with the Hindus at Bahraich in Oudh, on June 15, 
1033 or 1034 a.d. His tomb is a domed building erected two 
centuries after the death of the martyr on the site of a temple 
of the Sun. Firoz Tughlaq of Delhi (a.d. 1351-88) added 
a well and other buildings .^ The rite in his honour is done 
as follows : First, a hole which had been dug on a previous 
festival and had been filled with the refuse of the food offerings, 
is reopened for the Kandiirl ki Fatiha, the blessing of the food, 
Kandiirl meaning ' a table-cloth or napkin '. This is called the 
fire-pit (aldwa), but many people dispense with it. It is only 
superstitious women, deeming it unlucky to expose the sacred 
food to the light, who dig these pits to bury in them the refuse 
of the food. With the exception of fish and eggs they prepare 
all kinds of meat, bread, cakes, and vegetables, and arrange 
each person's share on a table-cloth {dastarkhwan). Incense 
is burnt, the Fatiha recited, and the food is shared and eaten. 
Some make images of little horses of wheat flour boiled in 
syrup with plates of gram intended for the horses.^ These 
are eaten and shared indoors, most people eating a little of it 
before any other food. Sometimes these horses are known 
as ' loose ' {khule ghore), and these are eaten and shared out of 
doors after the Fatiha has been recited over them. Some 
people, especially those suffering from diseased legs, vow that 
if they recover health through the favour of His Excellency 

1 lOI. vi. 213. ^ On horse offerings see p. 140 above. 

202 ISLAM IN INDIA chav. xx 

Salar Mas'ud Ghazi, they will make ' loose horses ' and recite 
the Fatiha over them in his name. 

Some people on a Thursday or a Friday in this month fill 
some large pots (kunda) to the brim with fruits and food, and 
after offering the Fatiha in the name of the Saint Jalalu-d-dln 
of Bokhara, eat and share the food.^ Others, especially Shi'as, 
offer food in these pots in the name of Maula 'All, son-in-law 
of the Prophet, a custom not ordained in the Law, but current 
in Hindostan. This rite is said to be called also Hazari.^ 

On the fifteenth or sixteenth, or as most of the learned say, 
on the twenty-seventh of the month Rajab, the seventh month, 
the Angel Gabriel conveyed His Highness the Prophet Mu- 
hammad Mustafa — on whom be the Peace ! — ^to Heaven, 
mounted on the Buraq.^ This being regarded as a holy night 
peoi^le keep vigil, read the accounts of it and keep a fast next 
day. This custom is observed by the pious and learned, while 
common people neither observe it nor know anything about it. 

The cult of the Saint Guga, Gugga or Zahir Pir, ' the Saint 
apparent ', is common in the Panjab and in the neighbouring 
Districts of the United Provinces and Rajputana. The legends 
told regarding him are contradictory, but he is usually said 
to have been a Rajput of the Chauhan sept who died in battle 
with Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. According to another ex- 
planation his title is not Zahir Pir, ' the Saint apparent ', but 
Zahria, ' poisoned ' or ' poisonous ', because he once sucked 
the head of a snake. His cult is closely connected with serpent 
worship, and Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Naga 
Raja, the snake King.* 

' This is apparently Sayyid Jalal Bukharl, whose tomb is at Uch 
in the Bahawalpur State, a disciple of Shaikh Bahau-d-din Zakarya of 
Multan. He is sometimes confounded with Shaikh Jalal Jahanian 
Jahangasht of Multan (Beale, Oriental Biography, 193, 371). Another 
famous Jalalu-d-din was author of the Masnavl, and Shah Jalal has 
a famous tomb at Sylhet (Rose, i. 544 ; IGI. xxiii. 202 ; Redhouse, 
The Mesnevi, 132 £E.). 

^ Garcin de Tassy, op. cit. 59. 

^ Koran, xvii ; Muir, Life, 117 f. 

* C. J. Ibbetson, Punjab Ethnography, 115 f. ; Rose, i. 172 ii. ; Census 
Report, Panjab, 1911, i. 120 f. ; J. Tod, Annals oj Rajasthan, 1920, 
ii. 807, 843, 1027 ; iii. 1452. On his animistic and snake cultus, see 
Rose, i. 121, 171. 



The Shab-i-barat or bara'at, or Lailatu-1-barat {barat, or 
bara'at meaning ' a writing conferring immunity '), is so called 
because on this night it is supposed that the lives and fortunes 
of mortals for the coming year are registered in Heaven. It 
is frequently confounded with the Lailatu-1-qadr, ' the Night 
of Power ', or Shab-i-qadr, that mysterious night in the month 
Ramazan, the actual date of which is said to have been known 
only to the Prophet and a few of the Companions, when the 
whole animal and vegetable world bows down in adoration 
to the Almighty. But there is no connexion between the two 
festivals. In Egypt the Shab-i-barat is called Lailatu-1-nisf 
min Sha'ban, because it is held about the middle of the month 
Sha'ban, the eighth month of the Musalman year.^ In the 
Khazdna-jawdhir-jalaliya of Maulana Fazlu-llah, son of Ziyau- 
l-'Abbasi, it is stated that God has in the Koran given four 
names to this month : Barat, ' Night of Record ', Lailatu-1- 
mubarak, ' the Blessed Night ', Rahmat, ' Night of Mercy ', 
Faraiqa, ' Night of Discernment '. 

Properly speaking, only two nights are celebrated by keeping 
vigil, the Shab-i-barat and the Baqar 'Id. The 'Arafa or vigil 
of the Shab-i-barat is kept as follows : On 13th Sha'ban, either 
during the day or in the evening, which is the evening of the 
14th according to the Musalman calculation, they prepare in 
the name of as many deceased relations as they can remember — 
no register of them being kept — stew, curries, sweetmeats 
(halwa), some of which they put on plates, offer the Fatiha over 
it; and send portions to friends, to those to whom they are 
under obligations, and to those from whom they hope to 
receive favours. Learned men never offer the Fatiha over 
food, probably because the Prophet never did so. In Gujarat 
among Sunnis requiems are sung, sweets and sweet bread are 
eaten and sent as presents to friends, fireworks are exploded 

1 Lane, ME. i. 201, 

204 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxi 

or sent to relations, especially to those families in which a son 
or daughter of the house is betrothed.^ 

The regular festival is held on the fourteenth. Those who 
have not observed the rites on the eve prepare choice food, 
say the Fatiha over it in the name of the Prophet — on whom 
be the Peace ! — and of their deceased ancestors, and amuse 
themselves with fireworks. For two or three days before the 
festival, boys go about beating small drums (tamki, tdzd). Those 
who have children, if they be boys, make figures of elephants, 
if girls, of lamps {pduti) made of clay, and light wicks in them. 
In front of these figures they lay fruit and sweetmeats, and 
recite the Fatiha in the name of the Prophet — on whom be 
the Peace ! — , but some recite it in the name of 'All JMurtaza, 
the Chosen, and over the lamps in the name of BIbl Fatima, 
by way of a vow. In front of the elephants and lamps a bamboo 
framework is erected which is illuminated, and fireworks are 
let off. After the Fatiha female relations drop silver coins 
into the lamps. Next morning the person who made the vow 
sends the fruit and sweets to relations by the boys and girls, 
who get a money gift in return. With this money and that 
put overnight in the lamps they make meat cakes (chakoli) and 
distribute them to friends, after which they place the elephants 
and lamps over the house door or on the walls of the enclosure. 
They sit up all night reciting a hundred two bow prayers, 
reading the Koran and the benediction {durud), fasting next 
day, all this being done according to the commands of the 
Prophet. But all the other ceremonies are innovations, super- 
fluous and extravagant. The observance of the eve is also an 
innovation, but it is laudable (bid'at-i-husna). On the night 
of the fifteenth many spend large sums on fireworks ; in fact, 
more fireworks are let off at this feast than at any other time, 
and presents to friends on this day invariably take the shape 
of fireworks. Sometimes they carry on sham battles by letting 
off fireworks at each other, which occasionally end in clothes 
being burnt or people being killed or injured. At this time, 
too, schoolmasters exact presents from the parents of children 
by sending them pious texts written on paper {Hdi), for which 
they expect a return. 

1 BG. ix, part 2, 140. 



The Ramazan, ' the month of vehement heat ', the Musal- 
man Lent, is the eighth month of the year. According to some 
authorities, the Musalmans borrowed the observance from the 
Christians, but it seems more probable that it was derived from 
the Harranians or Sabians and the Manichaeans.^ During the 
festival the time for breaking the fast {sahur, sahargdhi) is from 
2 to 4 a.m., beginning with the morning which succeeds the 
evening when the new moon of the month Ramazan first 
becomes visible.^ It was in the month Ramazan that the 
Koran descended from Heaven. It is the Divine command that 
both the beginning and breaking of the fast should be preceded 
by the making of a vow {nlyat, ' intention ') to that effect. 
From the beginning of the fast till sunset it is unlawful to eat, 
drink, or have commerce with women. Day and night should 
be spent in meditation on God. In the evening before the 
sunset prayer (maghrib) at 6 p.m. they break the fast (iftcJr), 
usually eating first a date, or if that is not procurable, by 
drinking a little water. Young children and idiots are excused 
from fasting. Sick persons and travellers may postpone (qazd) 
the fast to another and more suitable time, ' but he who is 
sick or upon a journey shall fast a number of other days. God 
wisheth you ease, but wisheth not your discomfort, and that 
you fulfil the number of days, and that you glorify God for his 
guidance and that you be thankful '.^ 

' Hughes, 534 ; Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral 
Ideas, ii. 312. It may, however, have been derived from the old Arabian 
religion (Margoliouth, Mohammed, 248, who says that it was substituted 
for the Jewish Day of Atonement). Whatever may be its origin, it is 
evidently a military exercise, intended to train soldiers for endurance 
and work at night {ERE. viii. 875). 

2 Mishkat,!. 466. The apparent new moon or phasis probably served 
to mark the beginning of the month in all primitive calendars, as it 
defines the beginning of Ramazan {ERE. iii. 61). 

3 Koran, ii. 181 ; Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 103 f. 

206 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxii 

Special prayers are called the ' resting ' {iardwlh) because 
the congregation sit down and rest during the night after each 
fourth prostration (rak'ah) and after every second blessing 
(saldm). They take about an hour, consisting of twenty-three 
or, as some say, twenty prostrations with the blessing (saldm) 
of the Prophet after every second prostration.^ The Prophet 
commanded his followers to recite these prayers in the com- 
pany of others with the Imam or leader after the prayer on 
retiring to rest (Hshd ki namdz) and when three bows of the 
special or voluntary prayers (i:£Jcyr6w-Z-!XJatar) are still unrepeated. 
The former being completed the latter are recited. For the 
purpose of reciting the ' resting ' prayers it is necessary to 
appoint a leader or Imam, or a Haflz, one who knows the 
Koran by rote, as such a person is able to finish them in a 
couple of days. When the recitation of the whole Koran has 
been completed, the ' resting ' prayers are discontinued. The 
Hafiz, or whoever has done this duty, is rewarded by a gift of 
luoney or clothes, as may have been arranged. Some people, 
after the rehearsal of the Koran has ended, continue reciting 
the ' resting ' prayers and the reading of the Koran beginning 
with chapter 105, ' The Elephant ' (suratu-l-fil), or some 
succeeding chapter, over and over, till the day before the end 
of the month. If there be no Hafiz it is necessary to repeat 
the ' resting ' prayers for thirty days. At the end of every 
fourth prostration the Imain with uplifted hands offers sup- 
plications to God, and the congTegation respond ' Amin ! ' and 
' Amin ! ' The Shi'as do not recite these prayers, nor do 
they enter a mosque for this reason, that after every four 
prostrations the congregation as well as the reader repeat 
the praises of the Four Companions, which they cannot endure 
to hear. 

Friday, Jum'a, ' the day of the congregation ', is the Musal- 
man Sabbath,^ the day on which the clay of Father Adam 
was collected. On that day will be the Resurrection, and 
during the last three hours (sd'ai, ' period ') there is one in 
which all requests are granted. On that day the congregation 
assemble in the mosque with the Qazi or law officer, the 
Kiiatlb or reader, and the Muazzin or caller to prayer. Wlien 

1 Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 80. 2 ^EE. x. 893 f . 


the caller is present he first sounds the call to prayer (azdn), 
and the others repeat anything that they may remember or 
are in the habit of saying, after which the reader recites the 
sermon or bidding prayer (khutba), which consists of praises, 
admonition, and advice. But on the last Friday of the month he 
gives such a solemn, pathetic discourse on the Ramazan and 
the excellencies of this night, first in Arabic and then in Persian 
and Hindostani, that many of the learned and respectable 
worshippers are moved to tears. 

Most Shi'as observe the night of his Excellency 'All — May 
God reward him ! — and that with much pomp, either on the 
21st or 20th of this month. They make the representation 
of a tomb (zarih) like one of the Muharram cenotaphs, and take 
it round the toAvn, beating their breasts. They then recite the 
Fatiha over food in the name of 'All and distribute it. The 
reason of this observance is that 'All departed this life on one 
of the days, which of them is uncertain .^ The Sunnis likewise, 
without taking out the cenotaph, cook food and offer the 
Fatiha over it. 

Most people for the whole month, some for fifteen days, 
others only on the last day or for three days and nights, remain 
in seclusion (i'^HMf) in a corner of the mosque shut in by 
a curtain or screen, and never go out except for necessary 
purposes or to perform the legal purifications. They never 
speak to any one on worldly matters and never cease reading 
the Koran and praising the Almighty. 

It is highly meritorious to perform this recital in a loud, 
audible voice. By this discipline many have become pos- 
sessed of merit and penetration, and their blessings and curses 
are as powerful as a sharp sword. In the case of professional 
men who have little leisure, the observance of seclusion for 
a day and night is sufficient. This course of seclusion is an 
imperative duty {sunnat al niti''aqqad, farz kifdH), that is, if 
one man in a town or one member of a congregation fulfils 
it, it is equivalent to all having obeyed it. In the same way 
when one man in a town sits in retirement (goshanishm), 

^ 'All was wounded by an assassin in the mosque on 17th Ramazan, 
A.H. 40 (January 22, a.d. 661), and he died on January 25 (Muir, The 
Caliphate, 299). 

208 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxii 

engaged in contemplation of the Deity, it is the same as if 
all the inhabitants did it, just as if when one makes a salutation 
to an assembly, if any member rises and returns it every one's 
neck is relieved from the obligation. 

It has been decided by learned men both in Arabia and in 
'Ajam or Persia that the Lailatu-1-qadr or Shab-i-qadr, the 
' Night of Power ', falls on the 27th night of Ramazan. ' One 
of these nights at the end of Ramazan, generally believed to 
be the 27th of that month, not the night supposed by Sale 
{Koran, chap. 97), which is that between the 23rd and 24th 
days, that is, the night preceding the 27th day, is called the 
Leylet el Kadr '.^ On this day they sit up all night burning 
frankincense pastilles, repeating the voluntary (nafl) prayers, 
reading the Koran, and proclaiming the call to prayer every 
now and then during the night. On those who remain awake 
all that night, the Angels shower down from Heaven the peace 
and blessings of God, even until sunrise next morning, and 
the excellencies of that night are innumerable. Among 
Musalmans there are two mysteries known to none but 
prophets : first, the Lailatu-1-qadr night on which the whole 
vegetable world bows in humble adoration to the Almighty ; 
the second, Ismu-1-a'zam, ' the exalted name of God ', which 
possesses such virtues that he who knows it can effect whatever 
he willeth, slay the living and raise the dead to life, and trans- 
port himself wherever he pleases. 

The Ghair-i-mahdl, a small sect who believe that the Imam 
Mahdi will not appear, erect, each in his own quarter of the 
town, a meeting-house (jamd''atkhdna), where on the night 
Lailatu-1-qadr they assemble, recite the two bow prayers in 
the name of the Mahdl, after which they call out these 
words three times : ' God is Almighty, Muhammad is our 
Prophet, and the Koran and the Mahdi are both just and true ! ' 
They conclude by saying, ' Imam Mahdi has come and gone, 
and whoever disbelieves this is an infidel ! ' Hearing this, the 
Sunnis become so enraged that they first get boys to pelt these 
sectarians as if in sport, and then attack them with swords. 

1 Lane, ME. ii. 210. According to the Mishhat (i. 279, 491 £f.), it 
falls on one of the odd numbers during the last nights of Ramazan, 
generally the 27th. 


Their adversaries considering it martyrdom to die on such 
a night, defend their lives. Hence inveterate hatred exists 
between these two sects, and many lives are annually lost. 
' I have been present ', says Ja'far Sharif, ' at two or three 
of these bloody encounters, but I have never seen the Ghair- 
mahdl victorious. I have also remarked in confirmation of 
a common report that the dead invariably fall on their faces, 
Wlien people remark this fact to them, alleging that falling 
in this position arises from their unbelief, they reply, " Not so ; 
our corpses are in the act of prostration in devotion ". The 
real origin of this enmity is this, that both SunnTs and Shi'as 
expect the coming of Imam Mahdi, Muhammad the Mahdi, 
whom the Persians believe to be still alive, and according to 
their belief he will appear again with Elias the Prophet at 
the Second Coming of Jesus Christ '. The Ghair-i-mahdl are 
converted Hindus and foreign Musalmans, followers of Mu- 
hammad Mahdi, a descendant of Husain, grandson of the 
Prophet, born at Jaunpur in the United Provinces of Agra 
and Oudh, a.d. 1443. After many adventures he died at Fara 
in Kurdistan in 1505, and he is venerated as highly as the 
Prophet — on whom be the Peace ! — ^ They say that whoever 
denies him is undoubtedly destined for Hell. They call them- 
selves Mahdiwala, ' followers of the Mahdi ', or Da'irawala, 
from the circular wall which they adopt in this rite of worship. 
Others they call Kafir, ' infidel ' or Dastagirwala, because they 
have no belief in the Saint Pir-i-dastagir. Their numbers are 
so small in comparison with Sunnls and Shi'as that we may 
apply to them the proverb, ' as salt in wheat flour ', when 
cakes are made. 

1 BG. V. 291 f. ; ix, part 2, 62 ff. ; ERE. viii. 336 fE. In 1550, in the 
Deccan, Sa'id Muhammad founded the Mahdavi sect, claiming to be 
the Imam Mahdi (Bay ley, Muhammadan Dynasties of Gujarat, 240). 




This festival is observed on the sixteenth day of the last 
month of the Musalman calendar, Zu-1-qa'da, also called the 
month of Banda Nawaz. His Holiness Banda Nawaz, Sayyid 
Muhammad Gesii Daraz, ' he of the long locks ', — May God 
sanctify his sepulchre ! — was a great Wall or Saint, who came to 
Gulbarga or Kulbarga in the Nizam's Dominions during the 
reign of FIroz Shah Bahmani ^ in a. d. 1413, and died there in 
1432. He was told in one of his reveries that when, for good 
reason, people were unable to inake the pilgrimage to Mecca, 
a visit once in their lives to his mausoleum would convey the 
same merit. On the sixteenth day of the month they perform 
here his Sandal rite, and on the night following, the seventeenth 
day or the eighteenth for Musalmans, they observe the anni- 
versary of his death (^urs) with splendour equal to that of 
the same ceremony in honour of His Excellency Qadirwall 
Sahib at Nagor-Nagpatan, as already described. Nay, if 
possible they observe it with greater splendour. In other parts 
of the country, however, it is on the fifteenth and sixteenth 
that they have illuminations in his name, cook cakes or stew, 
offer the Fatiha over the food, send some to relatives, eat some 
themselves, and distribute to others. On the night of the 
sixteenth, or by Musalman reckoning the seventeenth, some 
people light sixteen lamps with butter, place them on cakes and 
offer the Fatiha over them, as previously described, 

1 Banda-nawaz, banda-parwar, means ' Cherisher of his servants, 
patron '. 

2 For the Bahmani dynasty of the Deocan, see Smith, Oxford Hist, of 
India, 275 ff. 




The 'ldu-1-fltr festival, ' the breaking of the fast ', also known 
as 'Idu-1-saghIr, ' the minor feast ', by the Turks Ramazan 
Bairam/ is observed on the first day of the month Shawwal, the 
tenth month. This month is also known in India as the ' milk 
month ' (dudh kd mahlnd), because Musalmans prepare ver- 
micelli (siwdiydn), flour boiled in milk, and the ' vacant ' 
month {khdli mahlnd), because it is the only month in which no 
regular feast occurs, that to be described being supposed to 
belong to the previous month, Ramazan, and hence it is called 
Ramazan kl 'Id, and it is therefore included in it, as it marks 
the close of the Ramazan festival. In the Panjab this is the 
special feast of the Julaha weavers, as the 'Idu-1-qurban, 
'Id-i-azha, Idu-z-zoha, held on the tenth of the month Zu-1- 
hijja or Zi-1-hijja, in commemoration of Abraham's sacrifice of 
Ishmael, is the festival of the Qassab butchers, the Shab-i- 
barat of the Kanghigars or comb-makers, and the Muharram of 
the Sayyids.2 

This is a festival of rejoicing after the tension of the Ramazan 
or Lent, a carnival after sorrow common in Semitic worship.'^ 
In southern India before the feast prayers Musalmans of both 
sexes and all ages bathe, apply antimony [surma) to their eyes, 
wear new clothes, which second wives in northern India often 
present to the image of the first wife of their husbands, known 
as ' the first wife's crown ' {saukan maurd), in order to mollify 
their ill will towards them.* Before they go to the place of 
worship {Hdgdh, namdzgdh) they distribute alms (sadqa, fitra), 
the amount of which is prescribed by the Law,^ among Faqirs 

' Lane, ME. ii. 210. 2 NINQ. i. 98. 

^ R. Smith, Religion 0/ the Semites, 262. 

* PNQ. i. 14. On the danger to widows and widowers from the 
ghosts of their deceased spouses, see Frazer, Psyche's Task, 2nd ed., 142. 
6 Mishkat, i. 421. 


212 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxiv 

and the poor. This usually amounts to 2 J sers or 5 lb. of wheat, 
dates, grapes, or any grain commonly used for food, and after 
giving this they are allowed to attend the prayer service. 
Between 8 a.m. and 12 noon the men form a procession and 
conduct the QazT, or some other Musalman of learning and 
rank, to the place of prayer, most of them repeating mentally 
the glorification of Allah, or the Takbir : ' Allahu akbar ! 
AUahu akbar ! La-ilaha illallah ! Allahu akbar ! Allahu 
akbar ! Allahu akbar, wa illahu al hamd ! ' ' Great is Allah ! 
Great is Allah ! There is none so great as Allah ! Great is 
Allah ! Unto Him be praise ! ' The prayers together with a 
sermon in Arabic, read by the QazI standing on the pulpit, 
staff in hand in imitation of the Prophet — on whom be the 
Peace ! — last about an hour and a half. When the prayers and 
sermon are over, the Qazi is conducted back to his house, and 
the rest of the day is spent in feasting, making presents, paying 
and receiving visits. When the men return, their mothers and 
sisters take some water coloured red and yellow, and while the 
men are outside the door they wave it over their heads and then 
throw it away in the hope that the Evil Eye and the influence 
of any unlucky thing on which they may have trodden may 
thus be averted. Many, however, dispense with this rite. 
Should those who fast neglect to give the alms (fitra), the fast, 
the ' resting ' prayers and the seclusion practised in the Rama- 
zan will be kept suspended between earth and Heaven. 

In the Khutba ^ or bidding prayer or sermon, the prayers 
are offered in the name of the King whose coin is current in the 
realm. ' In India the recital of the Kliutbah serves to remind 
every Muhammadan present, at least once a week, that he is in 
a Daru-1-harb, " a land of enmity " '. Still the fact that he can 
recite the Khutbah at all in a country not under Muslim rule 
must also assure him that he is in Daru-1-aman, ' a land of 
protection '.^ Firoz Shah of Delhi (a. d. 1351-88) ordered that 
the names of all previous kings should be included before his 
own.3 If a Nawwab or nobleman is present as the King's 
representative he gives a dress of honour to the preacher, or 

1 For the Khutba see Lane, ME. i. 107 £f. ; ERE. x. 221 f. ; for 
translated examples, Sells, 202 ff. 

2 Hughes, 277. ^ EUiot-Dowson, ill. 292. 


some liberal native officer, a Subadar or Jam'dar, gives him 
a piece of muslin. Some people throw gold and silver flowers 
over the head of the QazI, which his servants or relatives pick 
up for him. After this the preacher again ascends the middle 
step of the pulpit and offers the supplementary extempore 
prayers (munajat), praying to the Almighty for the welfare of 
their faith and remission of sins of all Musalmans, for the 
safety of pilgrims and travellers, for the recovery of the sick, 
for timely rain, preservation from misfortune and freedom 
from debt. He then comes down from the pulpit, kneels on 
a praying-carpet, and offers supplications on the part of the 
people, the congregation at the end of each prayer rising up and 
ejaculating the word ' Faith ' or ' Religion ' (din). Then muskets 
are discharged. Friends embrace and strangers shake each 
other's hands, wishing them good health on the occasion 
of the feast, and after repeating the benediction {durud) they 
kiss hands {dastbozl) with the Qazi. At such times there is a 
concourse of Faqirs and beggars asking alms. If any one has 
not chanced to meet a friend at the service he calls at his house, 
where he is welcomed with sandalwood, betel, rose-water, and 
sometimes he is given food. 




The Baqar 'Id festival, the word meaning the ' cow festival ', 
or 'Idu-z-zoha, 'ldu-1-azha, 'ldu-1-qurban, Yaumu-l-nahr, the 
' festival of sacrifice ', is held on the day or evening of the ninth 
of Zii-1-hijja or Zi-1-hijja, the twelfth month of the Musalman 
year. In India it is generally regarded as a substitute for the 
sacrifice celebrated by pilgrims in the valley of Mina near 
Mecca. Stew, sweetmeats, and griddle cakes are cooked on the 
eve (^arafa), as is done at the Shab-i-barat. Fatiha is offered 
in the name of deceased relations and some keep the fast (nahr) 
which lasts for a watch and a quarter, the watch (pahar) being 
three hours, that is till 9.45 a.m. On the morning of the tenth 
they go to the 'Idgah, or place of prayer, repeating the Creed 
(takbir) all the way thither from their houses, as is done at the 
Ramazan and 'Idu-1-fitr. 

Rich people after the prayers sacrifice a sheep, carried 
thither for the purpose, in the name of God, in commemoration 
of Abraham intending to sacrifice his son Ismail, Ishmael, not 
Ishaq or Isaac.^ Or seven persons, men, women, and children, 
jointly sacrifice a cow or a camel, for those who offer such 
sacrifices will, it is believed, be carried by these animals as 
quickly as a horse travels over the Pul-i-sirat or the Bridge of 
Death. This bridge, finer than a hair and sharper than the 
edge of a sword, situated between Heaven and Hell, is that 
over which all mankind must pass at the Day of Resurrection. 
The righteous will pass over it with ease and with the swiftness 
of a horse or of the lightning, while the wicked will miss their 
footing and fall headlong into Hell whose flaming jaws will be 
gaping beneath them.^ 

* By comparison of Koran, xi. 74 with xxxvii. 99 ff., it has been 
urged that the Prophet referred to Isaac, not Ishmael, as the intended 
victim. But it is held both by Sunnis and by Shi'as that he intended 
to sacrifice Ishmael, Hughes, 216, 219. 

2 For the Bridge of Death in comparative religion see [Sir] E. B. 
Tylor, Primitive Culture, 3rd ed., ii. 94 ; Researches into the Early History 


In northern India the procedure at the sacrifice is as follows : 
All Musalmans except those who possess less than the value 
of Rs. 40 in cash or jewellery are bound to perform the sacri- 
fice. The dates upon which this is permissible are the 10th, 
11th, or 12th of the month Baqar 'Id or Zu-1-hijja or ZM-hijja. 
One goat suffices for one person, and the bigger animals, cow, 
camel, or horse, for seven. The sacrifice must be accompanied 
by the recital of the profession of faith (takbir), ' Bismillah ! 
Allahu akbar ! ', ' God is great ! ' The knife is held by the 
person who offers the sacrifice, or with his permission by another 
Musalman. The victim is stretched on the ground with its 
head turned in the direction of Mecca. The sacrificer cuts its 
throat and leaves the body for a butcher to dress. The meat is 
divided into three portions, one to be given in charity, one 
distributed among relatives and friends, and one reserved for 
the sacrificer. The skin, or its value, is also given in charity, 
but this charity must be impersonal, such as for the erection 
of a mosque or school, but it may be given to the mosque crier 
or to poor students. The conditions regulating the selection 
of the victim are as follows : Only quadrupeds and only those 
whose meatus lawful food may be sacrificed, and the animal 
must be more than a year old, perfect in all its parts. The 
blood is buried and not scattered over anything, and no sanctity 
attaches to the blood, meat, or any other part of the carcase.^ 
In the time of Aurangzeb the QazT, with a slave behind him 
holding a drawn sword in his hands, received the Emperor and 
recited the names of the monarchs of his dynasty, ending with 
a panegyric on the present ruler. As a reward for this duty 
he received seven sets of ceremonial robes. On the congrega- 
tion leaving the mosque the camel stood ready for sacrifice at 

o/ Mankind, 349 ff. The Musalmans borrowed the belief from the 
Iranian Chinvatperutu {ERE. ii. 852). Cf. Burton, AN. ill. 340; 
Mishkat, 11. 609. 

^ From a note by M. Mazharu-1-husain Khan of Bareilly, United 
Provinces, dated March 18, 1918. See R. Smith, Religion of the Semites, 
205, 218 ; Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 140 £E. Particularly since the agitation 
against cow slaughter, serious riots between Hindus and Musalmans 
have occurred at this sacrifice (see Folk-lore, xxiii (1912), 275 fit.). The 
ancient Arabs allowed the blood to flow away, giving back to the Deity 
the element of life, or else they applied it directly to the idol {ERE. i. 665). 

216 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxv 

the foot of the steps. The Emperor, mounting his horse, 
thrust his lance into the neck of the camel or ordered one of 
his sons to perform this duty. When his son Shah 'Alam was 
present at Court he usually did this office. ' After this the 
slaves stretch the camel on the ground and divide its flesh 
among themselves, as if it were saints' relics '.^ At Teheran 
the camel, gaily caparisoned, is led into a square near the 
Nigaristan, or picture gallery palace, and it is made to kneel. 
At the auspicious moment a spear in the hand of a relative of 
the Shah is struck into a vital spot behind the neck, and 
scarcely has the blood burst forth before a hundred knives 
are thrust into the animal by the bystanders, and in a twink- 
ling the carcase is cut up, each quarter of the city striving to 
get a portion which may be kept for luck during the succeeding 

The 'Idu-l-fitr and the 'Idu-z-zoha or Baqar 'Id are the two 
great festivals of the Musalman year, and both the learned and 
the illiterate share in them. Besides these there are others, 
such as the 'Ashiira, Akhiri-chahar-shamba, Shab-i-barat, and 
others which are not properly feasts but are generally regarded 
as such. The other annual celebrations includ% merely the 
recital of the Fatiha in the names of eminent Saints, and these 
are not true 'Ids or festivals. In many towns and villages 
there are shrines (chilla, astana), where throughout the year 
celebrations {sandal, ^urs, fatiha) take place in the names of 
Saints. For example, at Hyderabad they perform in the name 
of His Highness Maula 'All his commemoration (sandal) on the 
sixteenth and on his death anniversary {chirdghan, chardghan, 
'urs) on the seventeenth of the month Rajab, the seventh 
month, on a hill named after him about five miles north of the 
cantonment of Secundarabad, where enormous crowds assemble 
for two days, and even for a day or two before that date. 
In fact, there is more amusement even than at the 'AshQra. 

On the eighteenth of the month ZG-1-hijja or ZM-hijja 
ShI'as observe the festival known as the 'Id-i-ghadir. It is 

1 Manucci, 11. 349 f . 

" Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, 378. Compare the Arab rite of 
hacking and devouring the flesh (R. Smith, 338). Cf. Farnell, Cults o/ 
the Oreek States, ill. 211. 


celebrated with great pomp at Najaf al Ashraf, and the numbers 
of pilgrims are increased by crowds who arrive after visiting 
Karbala.i This is described in the Barah Masa as a solemnity 
on which the soul loves to reflect, and the mention of it is heard 
with delight. All, says this writer, use but one form of language 
in extolling the excellences of this festival, when the Prophet, 
in accordance with the divine command, appointed 'All 
Amlru-l-muminin, or Commander of the Faithful, and King of 
Saints, to be his successor. This announcement is said to have 
been made at a place called Ghadir Khum, ghadlr meaning 
a place where water stands after rain,^ a halting-place for the 
caravans (karwan), half way between Mecca and Medina. It 
is said that whoever observes this feast will be entitled to place 
his foot in the Kingdom of Heaven. There is another 'Id, the 
'Idu-l-'Umar, held on the third day before the Barahwafat 
festival in the month Safar, to commemorate the assassination 
of 'Umar ibn al Khattab, the second Kliallfa, by a Persian 
slave, Firoz, familiarly called Lulu, in a.d. 644. As 'Umar 
was the enemy of 'All, this is a day of rejoicing among the 
Shi'as and of mourning among Sunnls.^ 

1 See an account in the Pioneer Mail, October 10, 1919, p. 33 f. 
^ Burton, Pilgrimage, ii. 59 ; Rose, i. 576. 
^ Muir, Anmls, 278 ff. ; Rose, i. 576. 



SiMiYA or white magic is a subordinate branch of spiritualism 
C-ilm-i-ruMm), and it is divided into two branches : that 
which is high and related to Deity {'ulwi, rahmanl), and that 
which is low and devilish {sifla, shaitani), with the latter of 
which is connected the black art proper (sihr, jadu). Much 
Musalman magic closely agrees with that of Babylonia, which 
was always regarded as one of the homes of magic.^ Magic is 
officially condemned by the Law. ' Whoever obtains a little 
knowledge of astrology obtains a branch of magic. Wlioever 
goes to a magician and asks about mysteries and believes what 
he says, verily is displeased with Muhammad and his religion'. 
' But there is no fear in making spells which do not associate 
anything with God '. ' As ye have put faith in Islam, believe 
not in magic '.^ 

The invocation of spirits is an important part of Musalman 
magic, and this {da'wat) is used for the following purposes : 
to command the presence of the Jinn and demons who, when it 
is required of them, cause anything to take place ; to establish 
friendship or enmity between two persons ; to cause the death 
of an enemy ; to increase wealth or salary ; to gain income 
gratuitously or mysteriously ; to secure the accomplishment 
of wishes, temporal or spiritual. 

The following account deals with the following subjects : 
the rules to be observed and the articles required by the 
magician ; the almsgiving, the names, and the recital of 
spells ; the summoning of the Jinn and demons ; the casting 
out of devils. 

1 R. C. Thompson, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of 
Nineveh and Babylon, 1900 ; Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia, 1903 ; 
Semitic Magic, its Origin and Development, 1903 ; EBE. iv. 741 f. 

2 Koran, ii. 96 ; Mishkdt, ii. 375, 385 ; i. 206 ; ii. 297. But two 
Suras in the Koran (cxiii, cxiv) are magical formulae, both disclosed in 
the earliest teaching of the Prophet. 

Je- prcfenir 

^ "^iT -dr ijr 














Tfl A* Jll K S. 


The magician must acquire his knowledge from some learned 
guide (murshid), and he alone is a competent guide who is 
acquainted with the great names of the Deity {ism-i-''cizam). 
The names describe His attributes, but the great names are 
short invocations used in this science, and they are of two 
kinds : the mighty attributes (ism-i-'azam) and the glorious 
attributes (asmd'ut-husnd). These are of two kinds : fiery or 
terrible (jaldliya) ; watery, airy, amiable (jamalf). Besides 
this, he alone is a true guide (murshid) to whom the demons 
have given information concerning things great and small, and 
he in whose bosom is the knowledge of all truths. Such a man, 
however, must not boast of his acquirements and power of 
working miracles, nor should he be over-anxious to display his 

Some guides who are destitute of practical knowledge of the 
science pretend to teach it to others, but such instruction is of 
no value. Moreover the student exposes his life to danger, 
for by such study many have ruined themselves, with the 
result that they become mad, cover themselves with filth, and 
wander in deserts and mountains. But with a really learned 
guide there is no such risk. Even if danger occurs through the 
ignorance of his pupil, a learned teacher can remedy this. This 
poor writer, says Ja'far Sharif, a mere teacher of the alphabet, 
has long cherished the desire to explore this science and has 
associated with divines, devotees, magicians, travellers from 
Arabia and 'Ajam, the lands beyond it, and has gained much 
knowledge. But the advantage he has derived from the study 
may be expressed by the proverb, ' to dig up a mountain and 
find a mouse ' (koh kandan, mush giriftan)?- Should any one 
require further information than that given here, there is no 
better authority that the Jawdhir-i-khamsa by His Excellency 
Muhammad Ghaus Gaulerl — ^The mercy of God be upon him ! 

For a student of this science the first requisite is purity.^ No 
dog, cat, or stranger may enter his closet, and perfumes such 
as aloes, benzoin, or gum benjamin should be burnt. If he has 

' Parturiunt monies, nascetur ridiculus mus. Horace, De arte 
poetica, 139. 

^ In the Deccan the medium must not eat millet, or any food cooked 
by a menstruous woman (BO. xxiv. 418). 

220 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

to go out for a necessary purpose , he wears on going out of doors 
a special cap (tdj), and a loin-band {lung), leaving his other 
clothes inside and hanging his impure garments on a clothes 
line (alagni, algani). Or he merely performs the minor ablution 
{wuzu'') and then re-enters his closet. The object of changing 
the clothes is that flies may not be attracted to them and there- 
by cause defilement. If he experiences a pollution (ihtildm) 
by day or night he must instantly bathe. During the Chilla 
or forty days preparation he sleeps on a mat, not on a bed. 
During this time some people fast and bathe twice a day. 
They talk and sleep little, while some remain indoors and have 
the entrance of their rooms built up for the time. In performing 
this forty days' rite they go to a house or place outside the 
town, or to a mountain, cave, or well, or some place where 
water is at hand. The noise of a town distracts the attention, 
and in this work the mind must be concentrated and the 
thoughts must not wander. Outside a town there are no dis- 
tractions. Diet depends upon the character of the names to be 
recited ; if they are terrible (jaldli) the use of meat, fish, eggs, 
honey, musk, quick-lime, oysters, and sexual congress are 
prohibited. In the use of the amiable (jamdli) names butter, 
curds, vinegar, salt, and ambergris are forbidden. In using 
both classes of names the following are abominations : garlic, 
onions, asafoetida, blood-letting and the killing of lice. Failure 
to obey these rules involves imminent danger to life. Besides 
these the two chief rules are to eat only things lawful and to 
speak the truth. 

If the magician has to repeat the terrible names, or if the 
number of them preponderates, he must begin on Saturday, 
the first day of the week ; for the amiable on a Monday ; for 
both together, that is, an equal number of both, on a Sunday. 
If the spell is intended to establish friendship or for some other 
good purpose he should begin after the new moon, as in the 
case of other good undertakings.^ In both cases he should turn 
his face towards the house of the person who is the object of 
the undertaking. He should always fast during the three pre- 
ceding days and commence the recital of the names on the 
morning of the fourth. If his food is cooked by a servant, he 

* Frazer, OB., Adonis, Attis, Osiris, ii. 131 ff. 


MAGIC 221 

also must observe the same abstinence as his master. If 
the servant is unable to submit to such privation, the master 
must cook for himself. 

Before beginning the recital of the names in regard to a 
person, it is necessary to ascertain the initials of his or her name 
according to the Arabic alphabet (huruf-i-tahajji). As there 
are seven letters in other oriental alphabets which are not 
represented in the Arabic, an equal number of Arabic letters 
are substituted for them — for p, t, ch, d, r, zh, and g, are written 
b, t, j, d, r, z, k. The Arabic alphabet consists of 28 letters, and 
these are supposed by magicians to be connected with the 12 
signs of the zodiac {buruj), the 7 planets (sitdra), and the 4 
elements {'unsar). The relation of these to each other will 
appear from the following table which states the appropriate 
perfume which should be burnt with each planet, and also the 
qualities of the planets and the numbers represented by the 
28 letters of the alphabet. These form 8 words : abjad, 
hawwaz, huiti, kalaman, sa'fas, qarashat, sakhaz, zazigh, the 
first three of which are said to be those of Kings of Midian, and 
the others were added by the Arabs. 

Hence comes the Abjad or Arabic method of reckoning dates. 
It derives its name Abjad from the four letters a, b, j, d, re- 
presenting a much older order than the present. In the order 
each letter has a numerical value : a = 1, 6 = 2, j = 3, d = 4, up 
to y = 10; then come the other tens : y = 10,k= 20, I = 30, 
m = 40, n = 50, s = 60, 'am = 70, / = 80, s = 90, g = 100 ; then the 
other hundreds, u\)togh = l ,000 . As an example, dud az Khur- 
asan bar amad, ' Smoke (signs) arose from Idiurasan ' : d = 4, 
wdw = 6, d = 4, total 14 to be abstracted from ' Khurdsdn ' ; 
kh = 600, r = 200, a = 1, s = 60, total 912. This gives a. h. 898, 
A.D. 1492, the date of the death of the Persian poet Jaml. In 
the same way the words ' Taj Sultan ahl-i-jannat ' give 
A.H. 1045, A.D. 1633.1 

' Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 390 f. ; Cousens, Btjdpur, 75. 
For other examples see Ferishta, ii. 65, 138 ; ill. 249, 423 ; iv. 70, 141 ; 
Bayley, Muhammadan Dynasties of Gujarat, 239, 408, 410 ; Elliot- 
Dowson, viii. 441 £E. 





The Four Elements. 

The Planets 
with their 



of the 






Jim J 


Alif A 







Waw W 





Lam L 

Kaf K 


Ye Y 




'Ain 'A 



MTm M 





Ghain GH 



Shin SH 



Zwad Z 









Qaf Q 










Signs of 


As a further illustration of this table, if a man Ahmad desires 
intimacy with a woman Rabaya, which he wishes to accomplish 
by means of magic, it must be ascertained whether the elements, 
planets, and zodiacal signs agree or do not agree. For example, 
the initial of Ahmad is A, his element is fire, his planet Saturn, 
his sign of the Zodiac Ram, Lion, Archer. The initial of 
Rabaya being R, her element is water, her planet Venus, her 
sign of the Zodiac Crab, Scorpion, Fish. Hence the elements are 
opposed to each other. 

Secondly, astrologers have determined the relative disposi- 
tions of the planets to be as follows : 











































Consequently, Ahmad having Saturn for his planet and 
Rabaya Venus, these being friendly, it appears that the man 
and woman will live happily together. 

Thirdly, with regard to the signs of the Zodiac, they stand as 
follows : Males, Ram, Lion, Scorpion, Fish, Archer ; Females, 
Bull, Scales, Crab ; Hermaphrodites, Twins, Virgin, He-goat, 
Watering-pot. Between males and females friendship exists, 
between males and hermaphrodites sometimes friendship, 
sometimes enmity, between females and hermaphrodites the 
most inveterate enmity. In this instance, part of one corre- 
sponding with the other, it is so far favourable. From these 
various considerations it may be concluded that some degree 
of harmony and some of discord may be expected as the results 
of the union. 

For each name there are what are technically known as the 
'repeating of the Divine attributes ' {nisdb), ' Divine attributes' 
(zakat), 'tithes' {''ushr), 'locks' {quful), ' repetition ' (dawr, 
mudawwar), ' gifts to avoid calamity ' (bazl), ' seal ' or ' con- 
clusion ' (khatm), ' speedy answer ' (sariu-l-mujdvabat) ap- 
pointed for each Ism or name. In the Jawahir-i-khamsa there 
are in all forty -one names of the ' Mighty attributes ' {ism-i- 
''uzam), the first of which runs as follows : ' Subhanaka la ilaha 
ilia anta, Ya Rabba kuUi shay'in, wa warithuha wa raziguha, wa 
rahimuha ', ' Glory be to thee, the Lord of all, the Inheritor 
thereof, the Provider thereof, the Compassionate thereof ! ' ^ 

' Prof. E. G. Browne, who has kindly examined this incantation, is 
doubtful about the word warithuha, which is unusual. 

224 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

By way of example we offer the Nisab &c. of the above Ism. 
To find out the Nisab &c. of this Ism, the number of letters 
composing the Ism, which is 45, as noted below,^ is to be con- 
sidered as so many hundreds, which makes its Nisab 4,500, half 
of which, 2,250, added to it gives its Zakat 6,750 ; adding to 
this its half, 1,125, we get its ' Ushr 7,875 ; half of the above 
half, 1,125, or 563, gives its Qufl. Add the Qufl, 563, to its 
' Ushr, 7,875, we get 8,438 ; doubling this we get 16,876, which 
is its Daur and Mudawwar. There is no rule for the following, 
they being always the same for every name : its Bazl 7,000, 
its POaatm 200 ; its Sariu-1-mujavabat 12,000. 

The Nisab consists in repeating it 4,500 times ; its Zakat 
6,750 ; its 'Ushr 7,875 ; its Qufl 563 ; its Daur, Mudawwar, 
16,876 ; its Bazl 7,000 ; its Sariu-1-mujavabat 12,000. Total 
56,764. The giving of the ' alms ' and ' tithes ' (zakat, 'ushr) 
to the Ism or names is considered to be the giving of offerings 
requisite for ensuring success in the undertaking, that the 
labours of the suppliant may not return to him in vain. 

This name has for its demons Humrail and Hamwakll, and 
for its Jinn Shatklsa.^ In beginning the recital of the name 
these demons are addressed by prefixing to their names ' O ' 
( Ya), and to that of the Jinn ' Bahaqq, Nida, Madad, Kumak ', 
meaning ' by the aid of '. As a specimen, in the above name 
the formula is : ' Ya Humrail ! Ya Hamwakil ! Bahaqq-i- 
Shatklsa, Subhana-llah ' &c. Thus, whether it be this name, or 
any of the forty -one named above, or any other which a person 
may have received from his tutor — for there are innumerable 
others current — it is necessary that its Nisab &c. be given in 
order to command the presence of the Jinn. Previous to 
reciting the name he must each time address the demon or 

1 According to the former Table, 5=60, &=2, ^=8, a= 1, w=50, 
^•=200, ^=30, a=l, L=30, ^=25, a= 1, I doubled=60, a=l, a=l, 
n= 50, t= 400, fa= 11 (omitted), r= 200, b doubled= 4, k= 20, I doubled 
= 60, 5^=300, y=lO, hamza^l, waw doubled= 12, a— I, r=200, 
s=500, h=5, waw=6, r=200, «r=l, 2=7, 9'= 100, h=5, umv=6, r= 
200, 0= 1, h= 8, m= 40, h= 5. Total 2,613. 

2 For Musalman demons and spirits see ERE. iv 615 ff. The beliefs 
in South India described in this chapter seem to be largely derived 
from Hindu sources (Rose, i. 413, 561 ; Burnell, Devil Worship of the 
Tulavas, Indian Antiquary/, vol. xxiii, xxiv). 


Jinn by name. Should the name have no Jinn, the demon alone 
must be invoked, and after that the name should be recited. 
For example, if a name is to be repeated a hundred times, the 
names of the demon and Jinn must be as often repeated. 
Among the forty -one great names, some have two demons and 
one Jinn, and vice versa ; each name has a separate Jinn, but 
the same demons are common to several names. 

After reciting the Divine attributes the magician, in order to 
familiarize himself with it, or to cause the presence of the Jinn, 
must within 40 days repeat the name 137,613 times. This 
number in the case already given is thus calculated The 
total number of the letters forming the name is 45, which is 
to be considered as so many thousands, and when 45,000 is 
multiplied by 3 the result is 135,000. Add to this the com- 
bined number 2,613 which the letters of the name denote, 
and the total is 137,613, called in Persian Da'wat and in 
HindostanI Sujna. The magician divides this number 137,613 
into as many nearly equal parts as can possibly be gone through 
in one day's recital. By thus reciting it the mind of the inquirer 
becomes enlightened, he sometimes falls into an ecstasy and 
fancies himself, whether asleep or awake, carried and accom- 
panied by demons and Jinn to distant realms, to the highest 
Heaven, or into the bowels of the earth. There they reveal to 
him not only all hidden mysteries and render the whole human 
race obedient to his will, but they cause all his desires, temporal 
as well as spiritual, to be accomplished. Most magicians have 
by experience proved the power of these names, and whoever 
strictly follows the rules laid down invariably obtains his 
heart's desire. The uses and beneficial effects of the name are 
many, but, as they are noticed later on, we may leave them for 
the present. 

We now pass to the second variety of names, the ' Glorious 
Attributes ' {asmau-l-husna), as connected with the 28 letters of 
the Arabic alphabet, the knowledge of which my late father, 
says Ja'far Sharif, bestowed upon me as a secret inheritance. 
These will be exhibited, with the demons attached to each, in 
the following table. 













Ya Allahu ! 

Ya Rahmanu ! 

l^a Rahimu ! 

Ya Maliku ! 

Allah ! 

The Merciful ! 

The Com- 

The King ! 



passionate ! 












Ya Quddusu ! 

Ya S'alamu ! 

Ya Mu'min ! 

Ya Muhaiminu ! 

The Holy One ! 

The Peace ! 

The Faithful ! 

The Protector ! 













Ya 'azizu ! 

Ya Basiru ! 

Ya Jabbaru ! 

Ya Mutakabbiru ! 

The Mighty ! 

The Seer ! 

The Repairer ! 

The Great ! 













Ya Khaliqu ! 

Ya Bariu ! 

Ya Mussawwiru ! 

Ya Ghaffaru ! 

The Creator ! 

The Maker ! 

The Fashioner ! 

The Forgiver ! 













Ya Qahharu ! 

Ya Wahhabu ! 

Ya Razzaqu ! 

Ya Fattahu ! 

The Dominant ! 

The Bestower ! 

The Provider ! 

The Opener ! 












Ya 'Alimu ! 

Ya Qabizu ! 

Ya Basitu ! 

Ya Khafizu ! 

The Knower ! 

The Restrainer ! 

The Spreader ! 

The Abaser ! 













Ya Rafi'u ! 

Ya Mu'izzu ! 

Ya Muzilu ! 

Ya Sami'u ! 

The Exalter ! 

The Honourer ! 

The Destroyer ! 

The Hearer ! 





If a man desires the accomplishment of his wishes he may 
either recite one of the above-named ' Mighty Attributes ' or 
one of the ' Glorious Attributes ', both of which will equally 
answer his purpose. But the beneficial effects of the former 
are greater, though they are seldom recited owing to the 
trouble involved in it. 

C^^^^A^^ tyA<s<:::^^ 

y^ -/^^yz^ -zfp^ 


The manner of reciting the invocation (da'wat) is as follows : 
For instance, if an inquirer {talibu-l-Hlm) desires to make 
another subject to his will he will act as follows. Suppose the 
object desired (matlilb) to be a man named Burhan, whose 
name is composed of five letters, b, r, h, a, n — after the magician 
by reference to the table ascertains the different Attributes 
of the Deity attached to each letter, together with the names of 
their corresponding demons, by first repeating the names of the 
demons and then those of the Deity, as detailed already in the 
case of the first of the names contained in the Jawdhir-i- 
khamsa, a certain number of times, as will presently be more 
particularly stated, the object will become subject to his will. 
Wlaether the wisher does the recital himself, or employs another 
to do it for him, the substance of the following, in any language, 
must be recited daily four times, twice at the beginning of the 
Blessing, ' O God have mercy upon Muhammad and upon his 
descendants. Thou didst bestow Mercy and Peace and Blessing 
and Compassion and Great Kindness upon Abraham and his 
descendants ! ' After the invocation is to be recited, ' O Lord ! 
Grant that the object, Shaikli Burhan, may be so distracted by 
love with such a one (the seeker) as to be day and night for- 
getful of his natural wants ! ' 

I may here mention a point essential to be known in order to 
be able to recite the name — that the reckoning of the Abjad is 
divided into four parts, units, tens, hundreds, thousands. If 
the numeral representing the letters falls on the units it is to be 
considered so many hundreds, on the tens thousands, on the 
hundreds tens of thousands, on the thousands hundreds of 
thousands. By this rule the letter of the name Burhan are as 
follows : 6 = 2 ; 200 ; r =. 200 ; 20,000 ; /i = 5 ; 500 ; a = 1 ; 100 ; 
n = 50 ; 5,000 ; total 25,800. 

The magician having previously di\ided the sum total into 
any number of equal parts, and having fixed upon the number 
of days in which the recital may be finished, say a week or so, 
he must finish it within the time appointed, or his labour will 
have been in vain. He burns aloes or some other sweet perfume, 
turns his face towards the house of, or directly at the object, 
and recites these words, ' Amwakllu, Ya Rahmanu ! Sarhama- 
kilu ! Ya Fattahu ! Itrallu ! Ya Quddusu ! Kalkallu ! Ya 


228 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

AUahu ! Jabrailu ! Ya Barlu ! ' Before reciting these five 
names it is necessary to give their Attributes {nisdb, zakdt). 
But in reciting this kind of spell, instead of repeating it for the 
Attribute &c. the number of times as laid down for the other 
names, it is sufficient if it be recited in the above way a thou- 
sand times for each name with its demon, and there is no need 
to recite the ' Speedy Answer '. 

This invocation of the Jinn is known as Tashkir-i-Jinn.^ 
When a magician has once commanded the presence of the 
demon and Jinn, he may by their means cause whatever he 
pleases to be done. He can acquire by mysterious means his 
daily food and money sufficient for his expenses by demanding 
it from them. I have heard, says Ja'far Sharif, that a man 
never asks for more than he needs because the Jinn v/ould not 
provide it. Before commanding the presence of the demons 
and Jinn, the seeker must shut himself up in his closet, which 
should be smeared with red ochre. He spreads a prayer- 
carpet, red if possible, sits on it, and observing the utmost 
purity, he goes through the ritual in the course of a week, the 
sooner the better. After that, in order to secure the presence of 
these beings, he must shut himself up for forty days and repeat 
the invocation 137,613 times, dividing it into forty paits, one 
for each day. The best place for the Chilla, or forty days' 
abstinence, is some secluded spot near the sea, in a cave, 
garden, or place outside the town where nothing is likely to 
disturb him. 

After he has begun the recital of the spell every night or 
week, some new phenomenon will appear, and in the last 
week the demons and Jinn, attended by their legions, will 
arrive. A demon, a Jinn, or one of their band will present 
himself and say respectfully, ' Sir magician ! Why dost thou 
require our presence ? We are here with our forces '.^ At 
this crisis the magician must call up all his courage. He must 

^ Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 444. Taskhir means ' sub- 
duing, subjecting '. In Chaldean magic the conjurations ' begin by 
commemorating the various kinds of demons whom they are to subdue 
by their power, and then describe the eifects of the charm ' (Lenormant, 
Chaldean Magic, 15 ; cf. 19). 

^ Compare the tale of ' Alaeddin and the Wonderful Lamp ' (Burton, 
AN, X. 33 ff.). 


not address his visitors at once, but by moving his hand or 
finger he should ask them to be seated. \Vlien he has finished 
his daily task he should ask their names, demand of them 
a sign or token, and learn how often it will be necessary to 
repeat the invocation to ensure their presence. They will 
instruct him on these points and he should strictly obey their 
orders. If he speaks to them before he has finished his daily 
task they will cause some misfortune to befall him, or they 
will suddenly disappear and all the pains he has taken will 
become of no avail. 

He should adjure them by a mighty oath, in the name of 
Almighty God or of Solomon, son of David ^ — on whom be 
the Peace ! — and then dismiss them. He should on no account 
disclose the meeting to any one, he should never dismiss them 
while he is in a state of impurity, and he must never delay 
bathing after coition or nocturnal pollution. All his life he 
must refrain from committing adultery. In short, he should 
do notliing but what is lawful. A beginner in the art should 
never undertake it for the first two or three times except in 
the presence of his instructor, otherwise he may lose his life. 
Many by not attending to this have become mad or idiotical. 
It is much better to abstain from the practice altogether. 

For the information of Europeans, says Ja'far Sharif — 
May their wealth ever increase — I here relate some of the 
well-known virtues of the invocation recorded in the Jawdhir- 
i-khamsa. First, when any one waits on a king, noble, or 
his own gracious master, he need only repeat the Great 
Invocation seventeen times with his open hands spread towards 
Heaven. Then he blows on them and draws his hands once 
over his face, and then as the great man beholds him he will 
become so attached to him that however angry he may have 
been he will now be pleased. Secondly, if any one repeats 
this invocation forty or seventy times after morning and 
evening prayer his mind will become clear and enlightened, 

* On the mighty oath on the seal-ring of Solomon, see Burton, AN. 
vi. 104 ; and on the magical control of the Jinn, Koran, xxviii. 17 ; 
ERE. iv. 811 f. In the Panjab dust-storms are repelled by invoking 
Hazrat Sulaiman, the Lord Solomon, and pointing with the finger in 
the direction you wish the storm to take. (PNQ. iii. 167 ; Crooke, 
Popular Religion, i. 151, 266 ; ii. 19, 39, 75.) 

230 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

and in his heait there will be naught but love towards God. 
No worldly concerns will disturb his peace of mind, and the 
future will be revealed to him in dreams. Thirdly, if he 
desires that any event, temporal or spiritual, may occur, he 
should repeat the invocation twenty-four times on a Sunday 
morning before sunrise, and then, by the Grace of God, his 
desires will be realized that very day. Fourthly, if he wishes 
to make a person subject to him, on a Wednesday after 
bathing he should put on new clothes, burn incense, and 
repeat the invocation a hundred and eleven times over some 
food and drink. He should then blow on this and get the 
person to partake of it, and then he or she will become desirous 
(tdlib) of him. Fifthly, if a man has many secret enemies 
who slander him and treat him with haughtiness, after his 
usual prayers he should repeat the invocation forty-one times 
morning and evening, and then his ill-wishers will become his 
dearest friends. Sixthly, if any one desires to make princes 
or nobles obedient to his will he must procure a silver ring 
with a square tablet engraved on it, and write on the tablet 
the letters of the invocation, 2,613 in number. This number, 
or the numbers of the demons and Jinn added to it, should 
be formed into a magic square of the Sulsi or Ruba'i type, 
as described below, which should be inscribed on the tablet. 
The total number of the letters is thus calculated : add to 2,613 
the letters of the name of the demon Hiimrall {h = 5, m = 40, 
/• = 200, a = l, i = 10, Z = 30) or the total 286 ; of the demon 
Shatkisa (s/i = 300, t = 400, kh^eOO, i = 10> s-500, a = 1), total 
1,811. So 2,613 plus 286 plus 112 for Hamwakll plus 1,811 make 
the total 4,822. When the ring is finished he must place it before 
him for a week, daily morning and evening, recite the invoca- 
tion 5,000 times and blow on it. When all this is done he 
must wear the ring on his little finger, known as KanunglT, 
because it is used for cleaning the ear. In short, to command 
the attendance of the demons and the Jinn is no easy matter. 
At the present day if any one is able to secure their obedience 
he is regarded as a Wall or Saint, and a worker of miracles. 
This humble worker, says Ja'far Sharif, this mere teacher of 
the alphabet, has tried to prove the effects of reciting two or 
three of these invocations. But he found it a difficult task to 


finish them, and he experienced such awful siglits that he 
was unable to complete any of them. Finding his labour 
lost he abandoned the design. 

Besides these mighty names there are many Attributes of 
the Deity and verses of the Koran which one may recite 
without much trouble, and their effects are well established. 
But in order to gain knowledge of them you must humbly 
supplicate the great adepts in the art, and they communicate 
them only privately, breast to breast, hand to hand, ear to 
ear. If they are described in books it is never with sufficient 
minuteness to make them intelligible. To this humble 
inquirer, Ja'far Sharif, through the grace of God and the 
kindness of his teachers, many powerful spells and select 
sentences of the Koran have descended. But as they were 
given under the pledge of secrecy it would be improper to 
disclose them. However, one verse is so well known that I may 
as well mention it — ^the Ayatu-1-fath, the ' verse of victory '. 
If a man constantly recites this verse for a time God will 
undoubtedly within forty days grant his desires and make 
him prosper. The men of old constantly proved this by 
experiment. The Ayatu-1-fath, which should be repeated 
forty times after the five appointed times of prayer, is as 
follows : ' And with Him are the keys of the secret things ; 
none knoweth them but He ; He knoweth whatever is on the 
land or in the sea ; and no leaf falleth but He knoweth it ; 
neither is there a grain in the darlaiess of the earth, nor 
a thing green or sere, but it is not noted in a distinct writing '.^ 
To secure increase of subsistence and wealth, a man should 
after the morning and evening prayers repeat a thousand 
times the two following Attributes of the Almighty. If he 
derives any benefit from the repetition in two or three months 
he may go on reciting them a thousand or five hundred times. 
The names are Ya GhanI, ' the Independent ', Ya MughnI, 
the ' Enricher '. 

In the Shar'-i-BukMri Abii Hiu-aira, ' the father of the 
kitten ', so nicknamed by Muhammad because of his fondness 

1 Koran, vi. 59, Rodwell's version. In the last clause Sale gives : 
' perspicuous book ', and comments : ' the preserved table, the register 
of God's decrees.' 

232 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

for a cat ^ — May God have mercy upon him ! — states that 
Adam was created out of clay (tin), that is, of two of the 
elements, water and earth, and the Jinn of flame without 
smoke (mdrij), that is, of air and fire : ' We created man of 
dried clay, of dark loam moulded, and the Jiim we had before 
created of subtle fire '.^ Jiim are spirits and constantly abide 
in the lowest or first firmament. Some sages declare that 
they have bodies, but from the circumstance of their being 
internal, that which is not seen, the term Jinn has been 
applied to them.=* The extent of their knowledge is likewise 
hidden from us, and a madman is frequently nicknamed 
Majnun or JinunI in Arabic, because he is possessed by the 
Jinn. Sometimes they are regarded as the offspring of Jann, 
or Iblis, Shaitan or Satan, and their mother Marija, the 
smokeless fire of the Samum wind, as Adam and Eve were 
parents of mankind. Jinn differ from mankind in three 
particulars, in their spirits, form, and speech. Those among 
them who perform good actions are called Jinn, those who 
do evil Shaitan. When the former do evil, such as causing 
the death of any one or causing separation between two 
persons, it is not that such is their nature, but they do such 
actions through the means used by the magician and by the 
influence of the names of the Deity. The name of the Jinn 
most beloved of the Deity was al-Haris.* 

In the commentary on the Koran known as Tafsir-i-baizawl 
and the Tawankh-i-rauzatu-s-safd it is said that Shaitan or 
Satan was the offspring of the Jinn, and that Gk)d of His 

1 He was Qazi of Mecca under 'Usman, died a.d. 679 (Muir, Lije, 
Introd. xvi. ; note, 512 ; Annals, 426). 

2 Koran, xv. 26-7, with Sale's commentary on ii. 28-31. 

3 Jann, ' covering, veiling (darkness), lying hid in the womb (em- 
bryo) ' : Jinn, ' an angel, spirit, genius '. (F. Johnson, Persian, Arabic 
Dictionary, s.v. ; EJRE. i. 669.) In the Panjab they are said to have no 
bones in their arms, possess only four fingers, and no thumb (NINQ. 

i. 103). 

4 In the original text ' Hoorras', possibly referring to Haris, which 
was a name of Iblis (Hughes, 135). On the Jinn, see R. Smith, Religion 
of the Semites, 119 ff. ; Sale, Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 52 ; Lane, 
AN. i. 26 ff. ; JRAI. xxix. 252 ff. ; xxx. App. 11 f. ; Westermarck, 
Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, ii. 589 f. ; Rose, i. 516 ; 
ERE. X. 135 f. On their names, Burton, AN, v. 13, 278. 


^ -^eeAuz^el 

O ^Mra-eei ^ 


infinite mercy honoured him with the title of 'AzazU, a fallen 
Angel, their names having all a similar termination, as Jabrail, 
Mikail, Israfil, 'Izrall, and others. Imam Zahid has recorded 
that it was owing to his disobedience that Satan received the 
name of Iblis, ' he who despairs of the mercy of God ',^ 
because he refused to prostrate himself before Adam, and 
because in his malignity he tempted Adam and Eve to eat 
wheat .^ And when he caused their separation, Adam being 
banished to Ceylon and Eve to the neighbourhood of Mecca, 
he was called Shaitan, ' he who opposes '. Thus he ruined 
not only himself but all the race of Adam. He was the son 
of Hullanus, who was the son of Tarnus, the son of Sumas, 
the son of Jann. Satan has four deputies or Kliallfa : Mallqa, 
son of 'Allqa ; Hamiis, son of Janiis ; Mabliit, son of Balabat ; 
Yusuf, son of Yasif. And as Cain was the vilest of the sons 
of Adam, so is Satan in the race of the Jinn. As the name of 
the wife of Adam was Hawwa' or Eve — ^the Peace be upon 
her ! — so Satan's wife was Awwa'. And as Adam's surname 
was Abii-1-bashar, ' father of mankind ', so that of Satan was 
Abu-l-marrat, ' father of bitterness '. As Adam had three 
sons, Habil or Abel, Qabil or Qabil Cain, and Shis or Seth, 
so Satan had nine : Zu-1-baisun, who with his host occupies 
bazars, and all the wickedness done there is his work ; 
Wassin, ruler over grief and anxiety ; Awan, the companion 
of kings ; Haffan, patron of wine-bibbers ; Marra, superinten- 
dent of music and dancing ; Laqis, lord of the worshippers of 
fire ; Mazbut, master of news, who causes people to circulate 
malicious and false reports ; Dasim, lord of mansions, who 
causes hatred between man and wife. When people return 
from their journeys he prevents them from thanking God for 
their safety, and causes wars and contentions. Some say that 
he is the lord of the table-cloth {dastarkhwan), and does not 
allow people to say the Bismillah or grace when they sit down 
to meals, and after eating he causes them to forget to return 
thanks {shukr, ihsan). Last of the nine is Dalhan, whose 

' Iblis, Sia^oXo?, with which Burton {AN. vii. 360) suggests a con- 
nexion ; balas, ' a wicked or profligate person ' (Hughes, 84). 

^ Some say that the forbidden food was an ear of wheat, a fig, or 
the grape (Sale, Koran, 5 note). 

234 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

abode is in places of ablution and prayer, where he defeats 
the object of the pious by throwing difficulties in the way of 
the performance of their duties. These nine sons of the 
undaunted, the infernal Satan, are the mortal enemies of the 
race of Adam. They never allow them to do a good action, 
but exert all their influence in causing them to sin.'^ He has 
nine children added to his family for every one born among 

In the Shar'-i-Bukhdri Jabir, son of 'Abdu-llah Ansari — 
May God bless him ! — states that the Almighty divided all 
created beings into four classes : Angels, Devils, Jinn, and 
mankind. But Abii Darda, a companion of the Prophet ^ — 
May Gk>d bless him ! — ^has given a different account, stating 
that first came snakes and scorpions, then insects, then 
spirits, then the sons of Adam, all quadrupeds, birds, and the 

Malik Gatshan is king of all the Jinn, and he lives in Mount 
Qaf, the mountain which surrounds the world, resting on the 
stone Sakhrat, a great emerald which gives its colour to the 
sky. To the east he has 300,000 servants and to the west 
reigns his son-in-law, 'Abdu-1-rahman, with 30,000 servants. 
To both of them His Holiness Muhanunad Mustafa himself — 
on whom be the Peace ! — ^gave these Musalman names. Kings 
of the Musalman Jinn have their names terminating in nils, 
such as Tarnus, Hiilianus, Dakhianus. Kings of Tarsa, the 
Atishparast, or fire-worshippers, have their names ending in 
nds, as Jatunas ; kings of the Hindu Jinn in ids, as Naqtas. 
This Naqtas when he entered the service of His Excellency 
the Prophet Shis, or Seth — Peace be unto him ! — ^was con- 
verted to Islam. Among the Musalman Jinn there is a class 
of Imam or leaders, like Abufarda, Masur, Darbag, Qalis, 
and Abu-malik. In the Tafslr-i-kabir it is stated that the 
Jinn are of four kinds : Falakiya, who inhabit the firmament ; 
Qutbiya, who reside about the north pole ; Wahmlya, who 
haunt the imaginations of men ; Firdausiya, who dwell in 
Paradise. In tiie Tafsir-i-niydbiya it is said that there are 
twelve troops of the Jinn, six occupying Rum or Turkey, 

1 See Burton, AN. iii. 17. ' Mishkat, i. 38. 

3 Encyclopaedia Biblica, ii. 1747. 


Farang or Europe, Yunan or Greece, Rus or Russia, Babil 
or Babylon, and Sahbatan. The other six are in the region 
of Yajuj and Majuj, Gog and Magog, the latter perhaps 
Armenia, Nubat or Nubia, Zanzibar, Zangbar ' black land ', 
Hind or Hindostan and Sind. Among these three legions are 
Musalman and their king is Balditanus. As to the real nature 
of the Jinn, they are nine-tenths spirits and one-tenth flesh. 

Ja'far Sharif gives his experiences as follows : I have 
always been accustomed from my youth up to study the 
practice of exorcism or incantations (da'wat), the writing of 
amulets and charms, the consulting of horoscopes and the 
prognostication of the future. Many a time have persons 
possessed by the devil consulted this humble student, and 
either by the recital of supplications (du'a), or by some wise 
contrivance of my own, they have been cured. I used to feel 
much doubt regarding the effects produced, and I frequently 
said to myself, ' O God ! Wliat relation or connexion can 
possibly exist between the Jinn and men, that the former 
should possess such powerful influence over the latter, or 
that by the recital of incantations they should be cast out ? ' 
With these doubts in my mind I continued studying the 
subject, consulting learned men and divines and reading 
standard works on the subject, like the Tafsir, or Commentary 
on the Koran, the Hadis, or Traditions of the Prophet, and 
others, in order that I might acquire knowledge of these 
matters. I have related what I have seen. 

Wlien persons suffer from demon possession the symptoms 
are : some are struck dumb, others shake their heads, some go 
mad and walk about naked, they feel no inclination to do their 
usual business, but lie down and become inactive. In such 
cases, if it be required to make the demoniacs speak, or to cast 
the devil out, various devices are employed which will now 
be described. 

The use of the magic circle or geometrical figure to control 
the Jinn is very like the Tantrik methods used in India, or the 
Yantrams of the Madras Presidency.^ Magic circles, squares, 

1 Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 148 f. ; A. L. Anantha 
Krishna Iyer, Cochin Tribes and Castes, i. 306, 317 ; ii. 229 fE. ; Thurston, 
Castes, ill. 193 f. 

236 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

and figures are drawn on the ground, or on a plank with various 
coloured powders, cowdung ashes (bhabhut), ashes, charcoal, 
or sandalwood, and when the demoniac is seated in the centre 
of the figure, the incantation (afsiin) is recited. Round these 
diagrams fruits, flowers, betel, sweets, and sometimes spirituous 
liquors are placed. Some people sacrifice a sheep before the 
circle, sprinkle the blood round it, and place a lamp lighted 
with a charmed wick (palita) upon it. Or they merely kill a 
fowl and sprinkle the blood round it. Some give a rupee or 
two to a person possessed by the devil, who has to place it 
within the diagram. Then the Arabic incantation given below 
is recited over some cowdung ashes, or over five kinds of corn, 
the exorcist each time blowing on the object and throwing 
it at the head and shoulders of the demoniac. Or he breathes 
on flowers and throws them at him. He burns some perfumes 
such as powder (abir), aloes ('m(Z), benzoin or gum benjamin, 
coriander {dhaniyd), wood aloes (agar), or sandalwood near the 
patient,^ and recites the invocation twenty-one times, directing 
the patient to sit with his eyes shut, and to smell the fumes well 
while he repeats the supplication. During the recital of the 
incantation, if any motion of the body be observed the exorcist 
should say, ' If thou be a male devil bow thy head to the right, 
if a female to the left, if a hermaphrodite forward '. Some 
demons violently shake the head and body of the demoniac. 
When the recital is finished, the exorcist asks the patient 
whether he feels any intoxication, lassitude, sense of weight in 
his head, any fear in his mind, or if he believes that some one 
behind him is shaking his head. If any such symptoms appear, 
the case is one of demon possession, otherwise not. The idea 
of a demon catching the patient is nonsense, derived merely 
from the fancies of the common folk. The incantation (afsun) 
is an appeal to various demons, Fathiina, Hablbeka, Almin, 
Saqika, Akesan, Ballsan, Tallsan, Suradan, Kahalan, Mahalan, 
Saklilan, Sadidan, Nabian, and it invokes them by the seal 
(khatim) of Solomon, son of David, to come from the east 
and west, right and left. 

Incantations to cause a devil to enter a person's body in 
Arabic, Persian, and HindostanI are very numerous, but I have 

1 On the use of perfumes to affect the vision in magic, see EEE. ix. 739. 

•_-^ ox;!^2:<2:<j<i>' cy2^:<;^j^^?^ . 


omitted them as they can be learnt from those who practise the 
art. Some devils when they seize a person do not let him go 
for two or three weeks, nay, for as many months. The demoniac 
then never speaks, and though the devil may be present in him 
he does not move or walk. To prevent certain devils from 
escaping, the exorcist ties a knot in the hair ^ of the demoniac 
after reciting in Arabic the following verse of the Koran three 
times and blowing upon it : ' His command when he willeth 
aught is but to say to it " Be ", and it is. So glory be to Him in 
whose hand is the sway over all things ! And to this shall ye be 
brought back'.^ Some read the following verse eleven times 
over some sweet-smelling oil and blow it into the ear of the 
patient : ' We also made trial of Solomon, and placed a phan- 
tom [one of the Jinn] on his throne, whereupon he turned to 
Us in penitence '.^ Sometimes they recite the following in- 
vocation to God Most High, and blow it into one or both ears 
of the patient : ' O Hearer ! Thou knowest with thine ears, 
thine ears are within hearing, O Thou Hearer ! ' 

After the demoniac is fully possessed by the devil he screams, 
takes a lighted wick {kdkrd), and goes on lighting and extinguish- 
ing it by putting the lighted end in his mouth, or he bites a 
fowl and sucks its blood. A-Vlien he begins to speak with some 
degree of sense, the exorcist asks the name of the demon, his sign, 
whence he came and whither he is bound, what he was doing 
or causing to be done while he was in the body of the patient. 
If he answers, well and good. If he is silent the exorcist 
recites an incantation over a rattan, and gives the demoniac 
a sound flogging which makes him tell everything.* For some 
devils are so wicked that they will not reveal their names, nor 
say when they intend to depart. The strange thing is that 
the flogging leaves no marks on the body of the demoniac. 
Then the exorcist asks what he desires in the way of food. 
He must get whatever he asks for — a pound or two of millet 

^ On the hair as the seat of strength, see Frazer, GB., The Magic 
Art, i. 102, 344. 

^ Koran, xxxvi. 82-3. 

' Koran, xxxviii. 33 ; Sale in loco gives the Talmudic fable. 

* On flagellation as a means of expelling spirit influence, see Frazer, 
GB., The Scapegoat, 259 £E. ; ERE. ii. 228 f. ; Crooke, Popular Religion, 
i. 99. 

238 ISLAM IN INDIA chat, xxvi 

or fried rice, dumplings (matkuld), curdled milk, boiled rice, 
curries of meat, fish or fowl, eggs, a sheep, liquor, sweets, 
fruits, flowers, lamps made of flour lit by wicks soaked in 
butter, two images, male and female, made of flour, and any- 
thing else the demon wants. These things are arranged on 
a large potsherd, or on a winnowing or conunon basket, which 
the exorcist waves three times from the head to the feet of the 
demoniac, first in front, then behind. The contents he after- 
wards distributes among beggars, or he places the whole under 
a tree or on a river bank. This is to be given in alms on the day 
when the demon says he will depart. 

Wlien this time comes the exorcist asks the demon in what 
place he purposes to throw down the demoniac when making 
his exit, and what he intends doing with him. He answers, 
' On this very spot ', or ' Under such and such a tree ', and 
' I wish to take with me meat, offal, and so on ', or ' nothing at 
all '. If the exorcist does not approve of this he says, ' Nay, 
but thou must throw him down here, or in the yard of the 
house, and thou must take a shoe or a sandal in thy mouth, or 
carry a grindstone on thy head '. When the demon departs he 
runs with such speed and makes such a noise that people 
flee from him in terror. The demoniac frequently runs away 
with stones so large that two or three men could hardly lift 
them. Sometimes he runs away without taking anything. 
The exorcist must continue holding him by his hair, either at 
the back or side of his head, and he must let him lie wherever 
he falls. Then he recites the incantation or the Throne Verse, 
Ayatu-1-kursI of the Koran : ' God ! There is no God but He, 
the Living, the Eternal ! No slumber seizeth Him nor sleep ! 
His, whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the 
Earth ! Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own 
permission ? He knoweth what hath been before them and 
what will be after them. Yet naught of His knowledge shall 
they grasp save what He willeth. His Throne reacheth over 
the Heavens and the Earth, and the upholding of both burden- 
eth Him not ; and He is the High, the Great ! ' ^ This is re- 
cited over an iron nail, or a wooden peg, which he strikes into 
the ground. The moment the demoniac falls down, the exorcist 

* Koran, ii. 256. 

o ^ ? ^ 








































instantly plucks out one or two hairs from amongst those which 
he holds in his hand, recites some recognized spell over them, 
puts them in a bottle and corks it up, whereupon the demon 
which beset the patient is supposed to be imprisoned therein.^ 
Then he either buries the bottle in the ground or burns it, 
after which the demon never returns. Ife* 

Some practitioners known as Syana, ' wise, cunning ', make 
a small wax doll, fasten one hair to the crown of its head 
and another in the bottom of the cork, fill the bottle with 
smoke, put the doll into it and cork it up. They put it in the 
smoke to prevent people from distinguishing the doll which 
remains hanging in the middle of the bottle. The Syana then 
pulls out a hair or two from the head of the demoniac as he 
falls to the ground, and contrives to insert them in the bottle. 
Then he holds it up to public view and says, ' Behold ! I have 
cast the devil out of this demoniac and shut him up in the 
bottle. Now, if you pay so much well and good, if not I will 
let him loose again '. These fools, seeing the doll in the bottle, 
believe that it is the devil himself, and out of fear giving the 
Syana as much as he asks, get the bottle buried or burnt. 

The instant the demon leaves the demoniac the latter 
regains his senses, and staring round amazed asks, ' Where am 
I and why is this crowd assembled round me ? ' After this 
a supplication should be said three times over a handful of 
water, and this should be dashed on the patient's face. After- 
wards they repeat, ' La haula wa la quvvata ilia bi-Uahi-l- 
Aliyyi-1-Azim ! ', ' There is no Majesty and no Might save in 
Allah, the Glorious and the Great ! ' Then they take the 
patient home, wash his face, hands, and feet, and either on 
this or on the following day an amulet (ia^wiz), of a special 
kind used for this purpose, is tied on his neck or arm in order 
that the demon may not seize him again. 

When a person has long suffered from disease, in order to 
ascertain whether this is due to a devil or to enchantment, 
the following figure is drawn on the ground or on a board. 
Some flowers are put in the sick man's hand, and he is told 
to grasp them firmly, and to put his closed fist near the 

1 Cf. ' The Fisherman and the Jinni ' (Burton, AN. i. 37 ff. ; Frazer, 
GB., Balder the Beautiful, ii. 138). 




diagram. Then the exorcist takes some more flowers, and 
having read the following incantation over each and blowing 
upon it, he dashes it against the hands of the patient, when 
in a few minutes his hands will begin to move into one of the 
compartments. The diagram and the incantation are as 
follows : 






' It is from Solomon, and it is this : In the Name of Gk)d, 
the Compassionate, the Merciful ! Set not yourselves against 
me, but come to me submitting yourselves as Muslims. 
K, H, I, 'A, S, H, M, 'A, S, Q.^ [Then follow some unintel- 
ligible words.] By the blessing of Solomon, son of David, 
warn, warn me ! May both his hands go, and by the command 
of God reach this figure ! ' After reciting, this spell he says 
now and again, ' In these five compartments are inserted the 
names of the five afflictions. God grant that the hands of 
the patient may enter the compartment containing the name 
of the malady with which he is afflicted ! ' 

Some devils usually attack people in their sleep and harass 
them not a little. Some do not enter his body as soon as 
their presence is required. In this case the demoniac is made 
to sleep, and to continue sitting night and day in one of the 
compartments marked on the ground as already described. 
At night, either for the purpose of commanding the presence 
of the demons or for casting them out, a charmed wick (paltta), 
made of paper inscribed with mystic characters, by the in- 
haling of the smoke of which demons are expelled, is lighted 
with three kinds of oil and one of balsam for three, five, or seven 

1 Koran, xxvii, 30-1 ; xix. 1 ; xliii. 1 ; Ixviii. 1. These letters at the 
beginning of these chapters are supposed to conceal several profound 
mysteries (Sale, Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 42 f.). The meaning of 
them was probably unknown to the Musalmans themselves, even in 
the hrst century. They may have been private marks, or initial letters, 
attached by their owner to the copies received when the text of the 
Koran was fixed (Rodwell note on Koran, Ixviii). 



consecutive nights. Within this time if the wick has been 
lighted to command the presence of, or disappearance of, 
the demon, he comes or retreats. 

The charmed wick is made in this way. Take a red or black 
earthen pot, fill it with all kinds of fruits, some money, half 
a rupee or a rupee, as the fee of the exorcist, and fix on it a 
cover coloured like the pot, the outer surface of both being 
marked with sandalwood paste. Besmear the place where the 
patient sleeps with cowdung or red earth, stroke him from head 
to foot with a piece of blank paper, and on this write the lamp 
charm. Roll it up obliquely, round or flat, to make it burn 
weU, and to prevent it from unfolding, wind a piece of thin 
muslin with some cotton or thread round it. Then use the 
cover of the pot as a lamp and light it with three kinds of 
oil, or that of the karanj tree {pongamia glabra).^ When the 
lamp is lighted in the evening, perfumes should be burnt, and 
the patient is directed to sit by the lamp and stare into it. It 
must continue burning till he falls asleep. When the charmed 
wick is set alight, two or three flames of various colours, black, 
green, or yellow, will appear both to the patient and to the 
bystanders. Some demoniacs cannot sleep in a light like this, 
some get up and walk about, or do not feel sleepy, while others, 
though they do not object to look at it, seem evidently excited. 
At all events, by the burning of this charmed wick the devil is 
cast out. Should he be present he is warned to depart, which 
he does under the influence of the charm, and if the patient 
suffers from any bodily disease it will be removed. 

If devils annoy any one by throwing stones, which is a com- 
mon habit of devils,^ the exorcist takes one from among those 
that are flung, paints it over with turmeric and quicklime, 

1 A tall erect tree or cliraber, the seeds of which yield oil, used for 
illuminating and medicinal purposes (Watt, Econ. Diet, vi, part 1, 
322 ff.). 

" ' In E. Africa it is believed that sacrilegious trespassers in a sacred 
grove are assailed by showers of missiles : cases of this are often alleged 
to occur in India, and the writer has heard of two cases in E. Africa 
where colonists who had no knowledge of these beliefs, and had built 
their houses in the vicinity of sacred fig-trees, asserted that they were 
periodically disturbed at night by stones thrown on their roofs ' 
(C. W. Hobley, JRAI. xli. 432 f.). 


242 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

recites a spell over it, and throws it in the direction from which 
it came. If it be really the work of a devil he returns the same 
stone, by which people know that it is his work. Otherwise 
they conclude that it is an enemy who has done this, and they 
take measures accordingly. 

Some exorcists who are tricksters practise devices to gain 
money. Thus, when a man is rich and timid they secretly 
throw, or cause to be thrown, stones or bones into his house by 
day or night. The householder sends for one of these rogues to 
find out the cause and desires him to cast his horoscope. The 
trickster, to frighten him, tells him that it is the work of a devil, 
whom he describes as a monster of the air with four heads, of an 
elephant, buffalo, dog, or horse, and tells him that the monster 
wants to eat his liver, that this is the reason why he flings the 
stones, and that he will strangle him unawares. This makes 
him so alarmed that his very liver melts like water. ' I will 
prove what I say ', says the rogue. So he takes up a stone or 
a bone, paints it as has been already described, and flings it 
away, taking good care that it is thrown back. This frightens 
the dupe still more, and he offers anything to avoid the danger. 
The rogue then recites some spells and goes off with his booty. 
I myself, says Ja'far Sharif, have been a witness of such 

If the Jinn occupy a house, steal food, and frighten people, 
so that they are never free from sickness and worry, the follow- 
ing incantation should be recited twenty-one times for three 
days running, morning and evening, over some water which is 
blown upon and poured on the floor. Or it is recited over four 
iron nails or wooden pegs twenty-one times, and blown upon, 
the nails or pegs being driven into the four corners of the house. 
The incantation runs : ' They plot a plot against me, and I 
will plot a plot against them. Deal calmly therefore with the 
infidels and leave them a while alone '.^ Some write the 
names of the Ashabu-1-kahf, the Companions of the Cave, 
with that of their dog, and paste it on the house walls. 

The following are smoke charms, used for removing tertian 
ague, demons, fairies, fear, and false imaginations. They are 
thrown into the fire and the patient is covered with a sheet and 

* Koran, hixxvi. ]5, 17. 


' /presfni ^a^rvd Sum- aru/- con^u^rve U &> a^AcJ fAiS cnjtant , 
Tc Demons ' a-uA your 3osts , c>^VtZ/S<S^ ^ 


fumigated with the smoke. These are much more generally 
used than the more elaborate charms already described. ' How 
to write a charm to cure fevers : Take some olive leaves and 
on a Saturday, being yourself in a state of purity, write on one 
of the leaves, " Hell is hungry ' ', on another " Hell is refreshed ", 
and on the third, "Hell is thirsty". Put these in a rag and bind 
them on the left arm of the patient.' ^ Make two intersecting 
triangles on a sheet of paper with one continuous motion of the 
hand, sew this up in a sheet of cloth andtie itround the patient's 
neck. When the fever has left, throw the cloth into a well or 
river, ^ 

It is common among Musalman women, when their husbands 
ill-treat or neglect them, or take a fancy for other women, to 
procure something in the way of a philtre or embrocation which 
will cause the renewal of love. Some of these are of such a 
filthy kind that it is impossible to reproduce them.^ 

Betel leaves, or betel nuts, are often given for this purpose, 
so that when a man comes under the dominion of a woman and 
overlooks her misconduct it is said that she must have given 
him betel nuts to eat. The flesh of the chameleon and various 
wild roots and herbs are also used in this way. Owl's flesh is a 
powerful charm, the eating of which causes a man to become 
a fool and lose his memory, and women give it to their husbands 
to make them ignore their misdoings.* Some women procure 
the ashes of the dead from a Hindu cremation ground, recite 
incantations over it, and sprinkle it at night on a man's bed or 
over him when he is asleep. In the Pan jab burglars carry with 
them such ashes and sprinkle it over the inmates of a house 
to prevent them from waking.^ Another well-known charm is 
the ' magic lampblack ' or the ' lampblack of the enchantress ' 

' Ibn Khallikan, iii 62. 

^ NINQ. ii. 10. For a number of charms and folk remedies used in 
S. India, see Man, vi. 182 ff. Many Hindu charms of the same kind 
will be found in the Atharvaveda, vi. 8, 9, 89, 135 ; ed. Whitney, i. 287, 
347, 382 ; ed. Bloomfield, Sacred Books of the East, 99 ff., 103 ff., and 
other references in the index. 

3 For Hindu love charms, see Atharvaveda, vi. 89, 102, 130, 131, 132, 
139 ; Whitney, i. 347, 355, 379, 384 f. 

* Crooke, Popular Religion, i. 279. 

* NINQ. i. 103. Hindu cremation grounds are naturally a haunt of 
demons and witches (Tawney, Kuilid-sarit-sdgara, i. 159). 


244 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

{mohani, mohini ka kdjal), which women rub on their fore- 
heads or eyebrows to cause their husbands to love them, or 
they rub a little of it on the man's hair or the soles of his feet. 
Ja'far Sharif remarks that if a married woman wishes to keep 
her husband true to her there is no harm in reciting a verse of 
the Koran, because writing on or reciting over anything a 
verse of the Koran, and afterwards drinking or eating it, is 
highly meritorious, particularly if it keeps her husband from 
committing sin. In Sind when a man wishes to attract a 
woman's love he selects seven large cloves on the seventeenth 
day of the month and recites the following charm over each of 
them : ' O Cloves ! O Cloves ! Ye are truly good. She that is 
bound by the cloves can never remain away from me. If I give 
these cloves to any woman she will eagerly [rising and falling] 
come to me ! ' He then contrives that the woman may eat the 
cloves. Or on the first day of the month he recites this charm 
over a handful of salt : ' O Salt ! O thou salt one ! Thou 
essence of the seven seas ! O certain person ! [naming the 
woman]. Eat my salt and kiss my feet ! ' The reciter then 
dissolves the salt in water and drinks it, on which the woman 
falls violently in love with him. The charm known as the 
' breaking of the trouser-string ' is done by reciting a charm 
over seven or nine threads of raw cotton spun by a girl who has 
not yet been betrothed. The bits are rolled up and loiotted 
seven times, after which the lady is warned of the danger. 
Should she persevere in her cruelty one of the knots is opened, 
and forthwith her trouser-string breaks.^ 

Wlaen disputes come before the council of a caste, charms 
are used to induce the members to come to a favourable 
verdict. Some have a charm engraved on an amulet {ta''wiz) 
or on a ring (kard) which they wear on finger, wrist, or upper 
arm. Others write charms on paper and bind them up in a bit 
of brocade or silk and cotton cloth {kamkhwdb, mashru''), and 
wear them on the hair, turban, arm, wrist, or neck. Others, 
again, use for this purpose various kinds of roots or herbs, the 
gathering of which is done according to a special ritual. They 
go to the tree or plant and say, ' We intend to come to-morrow 
at such a time to take you away for such a purpose '. These 

' Burton, Sindh, 178 f. 
















H'Tiziever ye are , Defnan^ , 
Sjaircls , Devils, .y/lcTcf-tw , 

nc'ur , en- fA^j doefy and 6e dij,rn/: ant/ rec^cccecd, tc 


('^A^^efija^e/' , iAe GAost ^a, won^ari^ it^Axr (/i^d ii^^/oU<: prryuznt 


substances are known to few, and when they go to fetch them 
they take with tiiem a chicken, fruits, and liquor, which they 
put near the tree or plant, kill the chicken and rub some of the 
blood on the tree or plant, and then take what they require.^ 
It is by reciting incantations which can be learned from those 
skilled in the art and from Sannyasis and other Hindu ascetics 
that their purpose is effected. In fact, many of these charms 
are borrowed from Hindus.^ 

In order to cause enmity between two persons it is common 
to recite chapter 105 of the Koran, ' The Elephant ' : ' Hast 
thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the army of the Elephant 
[Abyssinia] ? Did He not cause their stratagem to miscarry ? 
And he sent against them birds in flocks. Clay stones did He 
hurl down upon them, and He made them like stubble beaten 
down \^ This should be recited at noon, or some other time, 
forty-one times over some earth taken from a grave, which 
should then be thrown on the persons whom it is desired to 
embroil, or on the roads leading to their houses. Or they take 
forty black pepper-corns, and for a week morning and evening 
recite this charm in the persons' names. Then the pepper is 
burnt and enmity is produced. Or a man, bareheaded in a 
cemetery or mosque, with his face turned to his enemy's house 
at noon, recites the following verse forty-one times for forty-one 
days, and then a quarrel is sure to arise between them, ' And 
we have put envy and hatred between them that shall last till 
the Day of Resurrection '.* To this the invocation is added : 
' Ya Qahharhu ! Ya Jabbarhu ! Ya 'Izrallhu ! ' ' The Domi- 
nant ! The Omnipotent ! The Angel of Death ! ' 

If a man wishes to be revenged on a powerful enemy the 
following methods are used. But it is not every one who 
succeeds, and practitioners undertake the charm only for those 
in need of relief, and the Almighty will hear only the supplica- 

^ This is apparently a way of apologizing to the tree-spirit for dis- 
turbing it. Cf. Frazer, GB., The Magic Art, ii. 18 f., 36 f. 

2 Russell, ii. 521 ; iv. 34 f. ; PNQ. i. 89 ; ii. 5 ; Crooke, Popular 
Religion, ii. 46 ; A. K. Iyer, Cochin Tribes, i. 348 ; JRAI. xxxviii. 
157, 159. 

^ This refers to the attack by Abraha, Abyssinian viceroy of Yemen, 
on Mecca, a.d. 570 (Muir, Life, Introd. c £E.). 

* Koran, v. 69. 

246 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvi 

tions of those who are really distressed. He should recite the 
Tabat, Abu Lahab, the 111th chapter of the Koran backwards 
(ma'kus),^ or the 50th chapter, Chihal Qaf, the Forty Qs, morn- 
ing and evening daily for twenty-one days, forty-one times 
at each period. Or he makes a doll about a span high, more 
or less, out of earth taken from a grave, or from a Hindu 
cremation ground, recites the 105th chapter or the 111th 
backwards, or the 50th over twenty-one small thin wooden 
pegs, three times over each peg, and drives them into different 
parts of the doll, on the crown of the head, forehead, both eyes, 
upper arms, armpits, palms, nipples, both sides of the body, 
navel, thighs, knees, and soles of the feet. The doll is then 
shrouded like a human corpse and buried in the name of the 
enemy, who, it is believed, will soon die.^ Another method is to 
draw a human figure on the ground, on an unburnt brick, 
or on an image made of clay. The following incantation is 
recited over it : ' Thou, the Dominant ! Full of wrath, terrible 
art Thou ! whose vengeance none can endure ! ' 

1 On charms recited backwards, Crooke, Popular Religion, ii. 276 f. 
The heterodox B6n-pa of Tibet recite the Om Mani formula backwards 
(Waddell, Buddhism of Tibet, 150). 

2 This is the well-known Corp chre of Scotland. For other examples 
see ERE. v. 295 ; viii. 319 ; x. 447 ; Russell, i. 334 ; ii. 231, 248 ; 
iii. 241, 562 ; A. K. L. Iyer, i. 348 ; ii. 473 ; for a figure of this kind see 
Thurston, Tribes, vi. 124 ff. with a photograph ; Crooke, Popular 
Religion, ii. 278 f . ; Waddell, Buddhism of Tibet, 408 ; Rose, i. 229, 237 ; 
JRAI. xxxviii. 160 ff. ; Frazer, OB., The Magic Art, i. 55 ff. 

cS^i>9t6m^' - cA-^z^/m^. 

^ifc;;^^^;^;^^^^^^^;;^^^^^.^.^^..^ .J^^. ^^/.^.r^A^. ff^c^-uu,"^ 



Magic squares are sometimes so large as to include as many 
as a hundred compartments in a line, but here only those 
having up to ten compartments will be described. Magic 
squares include the following varieties : Dupaya, Sulsi, Ruba'I, 
Murabba, Kliamsi, Musaddas, Musabba', Musamman, Mus- 
tassa, Ma'shshar. That is to say, they are binary or ' two- 
legged ', ternary, quaternary, and so on.^ In the Dupaya or 
' two-legged ' square nothing is to be subtracted, but the 
number is to be divided by 12, and with the quotient the 
compartments are to be filled up, increasing one in every 
square as you proceed, in the manner following : 









Should anything remain it is to be added to the number 
in the sixth or fractional compartments {kasar ke ghar). For 
example, the numerical quantity of the word Bismilldh, 786, 
divided by 12 gives 65, and 6 over. With this fill up, adding 

1 For the mathematical rules for making magic squares, see EB. xvii. 
310 £E. For examples, ERE. ill. 445, 449. On Musalman charms and 
amulets, ibid., iii. 457 ff. 




65 in each compartment and 6 more in the sixth compart- 
ment : 









To form a Sulsi square — from a given number subtract 12, 
and with one-third of the remainder fill up the compartments 
as follows : 










This is the magic square of Hawwa' or Eve, whose number 
is 15. Deduct 1, leaving 3 remain, a third being 1 ; with 
this unit fill up the square, adding 1 to each compartment 
until the whole is filled up. In whatever way the numbers 
are added up they will form the same total. In thus sub- 
tracting and dividing, if 1 remains over and above, it should 
be added to the original number in the seventh compartment, 
if 2 in the fourth, and then the numbers will correspond. In 
forming Sulsi magic squares, the compartment in which to 
begin is likewise varied according to the elements, whether 
they be earth, water, air, or fire ; thus : 



f/ 6e , tA/zi Uf t^n tA^ So^y a ^ this i/i^/lm^-uU', j 
cau^^e li i^J-td^if^y Tir ^ 6e present : a-ful 
bum u^id rfdii^r ^AL li to cuAf^ . iy 

































To form the Ruba'i square, deduct 30 from the given 
number, divide the remainder by 4, and with a quarter fill 
up 16 compartments, thus : 




















This magic square is that of Ajal or Death ; its number 
is 34, deduct 30, 4 remains ; divide by 4, 1 remains, and 
with the latter fill up. If 1 remains over, add 1 to the 
thirteenth compartment ; if 2, add 1 to the ninth ; if 3, 1 
to the fifth. 

Besides this method there is another by which Ruba'i 
squares are formed : Subtract 21 from the given number, 
begin the remainder from the thirteenth compartment and fill 
up the sixteenth ; having previously filled up from 1 to 12 
as above directed, fill up the other four ; e.g. Maryam or 
Mary's name is 290, deduct 21, 269 remains, and with it fill 
up as follows : 

















Murabba' squares, like the Sulsi, are of four kinds depending 
on the elements, thus : 






































































Khamsi squares are formed by subtracting 60 from the 
number, dividing the remainder by 5, and with one-fifth filling 
up 25 compartments, by increasing 1 in each, thus : 

an^l- •^<Z/i/f^^:W3l ■' £ e ye pnesen/r ic'iiA. yencr a^em = 
^lisd. Ceaupns i/v iAe ianyo o/^ihis Bekoider o/^ t/w 
U^/ee/^, a-rtd- u'kal€i^erDei^, 3ijease, Demon , Faz^y, 
&2 Ude ifuzt AoyS pc/ie/Sed^ hifny , dumyJlC redtcce 

( Pe<xce ie 





























If in making the division for forming this square 1 remain, 
1 is to be added to the twenty-first compartment ; if 2, to 
the sixteenth ; if 5, to the eleventh ; if 4, to the sixth. 

To form a Musaddas magic square, deduct 105 from any 
given number, divide by 6, and with one-sixth fill it up, thus : 





































In forming this square, if 1 remain, add 1 to the thirty-first 
compartment ; if 2, to the thirty -fifth ; if 3, to the nineteenth ; 
if 4, to the thirteenth ; if 5, to the seventh. 




To make a Musabba' square, you must deduct 160, divide 
by 7, and with one-seventh fill up as follows : 


















































In forming the above, if from 1 to 5 remain, add 1 in the 
forty -third compartment. 

To make a Musamman square, subtract 252, divide by 8, 
and with the quotient fill up as follows : 


































































In forming this square, if from 1 to 7 remain, add 1 to the 
number in the seventy-fifth compartment. 




In a Mustassa square, subtract 360 from the given number, 
divide by 9, and with one-ninth fill up as follows : 




' IG 














































































If in this from 1 to 8 remain, add 1 in the seventy-third 

In a Ma'ashshar square, subtract 495 from any given 
number, divide the remainder by 10, and with one-tenth fill 
up as follows : 



























































































1 ^^^ 










264 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvii 

In this, if from 1 to 9 remain, add 1 in the ninety-first 

Magic squares of these varieties are used as love charms, 
to create enmity, to cause men to be silent regarding another, 
to prevent dreaming, and to cast out devils. In northern 
India they are used to cure various diseases, to cause butter 
to increase in the churn, or milk in a woman or in a cow, to 
remove cattle disease, to make fruit-trees give their fruit, 
to m.ake a husband obey his wife.^ In southern India, when 
used as love charms they are written about the time of the 
new moon, the best days being Fridays, Mondays, Wednesdays, 
and Thursdays, and the best hours those during which Jupiter, 
Mercury, and Venus are dominant. For all purposes magic 
squares are written on a porcelain plate or on paper, the 
inscription being washed off and drunk. Among the Memans 
of Gujarat, in a case of spirit possession, the Sayyid asks the 
patient to send him daily a white china plate, on which he 
writes with saffron magic squares, figures, or chapter 113 of 
the Koran, the writing being dissolved in water and drunk.^ 
Or they are worn about the person or burnt, and the patient 
is fumigated with the smoke, or they are bound up in cotton 
soaked in perfumed oil and burnt in a lamp, or they are 
engraved on rings which are worn on the fingers. Some 
people write the charm on birch bark {bhojpattar, betula utilis), 
or have it engraved on a thin metallic plate covered with 
wax, protected by brocade, and worn as an amulet, or it is 
sealed up in a hollow metal case,^ hung on the neck, worn 
on the upper arm, on the loins, or in the turban, or tied in 
the corner of a handkerchief. 

They often have an amulet-case made to hold a stone 

1 PNQ. i. 83, 88, 136 ; ii. 167 ; NINQ. 1. 102 ; iv. 36 ; v. 17. 

2 BG. ix, part 2, 57. For other examples of drinking charms, see 
Frazer, Folklore in the O.T. lii. 413 f. ; Thurston, Castes, iv. 489 ; Rose, 
i. 211. On the acquirement of magical sanctitj'^ by drinking, see HalHday, 
Greek Divination, 124 ff. The favourite passages of the Koran used in 
amulets are ' The Daybreak ' and ' The Men ' (cxiii, cxiv), and ' The 
Throne ' verse (ii. 256). 

3 Some of these amulet-eases are highly ornamental (Baden-Powell, 
Handbook of the Manufactures and Arts of the Punjab, 177 f., with an 


engraved with verses of the Koran (ndd-i-^Ali,'' a call to 'Ali ') ^ 
with some tiger's claws (bcighnakh) set in silver. When they get 
an amulet from a Mashaikli, MuUa, or other learned man, or if 
they can procure any part of an offering made at a shrine, such 
as flowers or sandalwood, they put it into the case. Some 
people kill a ' double-headed ' snake, or amphisbaena ^ on a new- 
moon night {amdvas) which falls on a Sunday, recite a charm 
over it, put it in an earthen pot, and bury it in the ground. 
After the flesh has disappeared they take the bones, thread 
them, and wear them round the neck as a cure for scrofula. 
Besides such things they use the feathers, hair, or bones of 
various animals and birds as protectives to ward off appari- 
tions, the Jinn, and misfortunes. Wlien a man is making an 
amulet he should turn his face towards the house of the person 
for whom it is intended. When sentences of the Koran are 
used in charms and amulets, the numerical values of the letters, 
as already described, are added together, and with the sum 
total the magic square is filled up. 

Abu Huraira reports that Muhammad said, ' Verily there are 
ninety-nine names of God, and whoever recites them shall enter 
Paradise '.^ The Emperor Humayun's respect for the names 
of God was so great that once when he sent for one Mir'Abdu-l- 
haiy, whose name means ' Slave of the Eternal ', he merely 
called him 'Abdu-1, leaving out the last word because he had 
not yet bathed that morning.* Hence many people make 
magic squares containing one of these names. The following 
is a list of these names, with their meaning, the numerical 
value of their letters, and their uses.^ 

Allah,*' ' the Sui^reme ', 66, for all purposes. Ar-Rahman, 

* For a complete version of the ' call ' see Ain, i. 507. 

2 The so-called ' double-headed ' snake {eryx Johnii) is called diitondi, 
' two heads', by the Marathas, and domunha, with the same meaning, 
in N. India (BG. xviii, part 1, 80 ; PNQ. iii. 61 f., 98). The true amphis- 
baena is a worm-shaped lizard {EB. i. 891). 

3 Mishkat, i. 542. On the magical value of the name, see Famell, 
The Evolution of Religion, 184 £f. ; Frazer, GB., Taboo and Perils of 
the Soul, 318 £E. ' Ferishta, ii. 178. 

^ On the ninety-nine names of Allah, see E. H. Palmer, The Quran, 
Sacred Books of the East, vi, Introd., 67 f. 

* Allah, a male deity, of whom Al-lat was the female partner, was 
the patron of the Quraish tribe (MargoUouth, Mohammed, 109, and see 
ERE. i. 664). 

256 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvii 

' the Compassionate ', 258, for enlightening the mind. Ar- 
Rahim, ' the Compassionate ', 258, for increase of rank. Al- 
Malik, ' the King ', 91, for obtaining wealth. Al-Quddus, 
' the Holy ', 170, to remove fear. As-Salam, ' the Peace ', 
131, for health. Al-Mu'min, ' the Faithful ', 136, for security 
from enemies. Al-Muhaimin, ' the Protector ', 145, for per- 
sonal protection. Al-'AzIz, ' the Mighty ', 94, for increase of 
honour and dignity. Al-Jabbar, ' the Omnipotent ', 206, in 
order to become independent of princes. Al-Mutakabbir, 
' the Great,' 662, for increase of wealth and dignity. Al- 
Khaliq, ' the Creator ', 731, for obtaining an easy labour. 
Al-Musawwir, ' the Fashioner ', 336, for cancelment of debts. 
Al-Ghaffar, ' the Forgiver ', 1281, for pardon of sins. Al- 
Qahhar, ' the Dominant ', 306, for preservation from tyranny. 
Al-Wahhab, ' the Bestower ', ' the Recoverer ', 14, for finding 
things lost. Ar-Razzaq, ' the Provider ', 308, for increase of 
subsistence. Al-Fattah, ' the Opener, AccompHsher ', 489, for 
victory. Al-'Alim, ' the Knower, Omniscient ', 489, for acquir- 
ing knowledge. Al-Qabiz, ' the Restrainer ', 905, for destroy- 
ing enemies. Al-Basit, ' the Spreader, Provider of Bread ', 
72, for the increase of daily bread. Al-Khafiz, ' the Abaser ', 
1481, for the subjection of enemies. Ar-Rafi', ' the Exalter ', 
351, for increase of dignity. Al-Mu'izz, ' the Honourer ', 117, 
for honour. Al-MuzU, ' the Destroyer ', 770, for the ruin of 
enemies. As-Sami', ' the Hearer ', 180, to cure ear-ache and 
deafness. Al-Basir, ' the Seer ', 302, for knowing the secrets 
of the heart. Al-Hakim, ' the Ruler ', 68, for sovereignty. 
Al-'Adl, ' the Just ', 104, for justice. Al-Latif, ' the Penetrat- 
ing ', 129, for obtaining good fortune. Al-Khablr, ' He that 
knows ', 812, for ascertaining mysteries. Al-Halim, ' the 
Long-suffering ', 88, for the relief of trouble. Al-'Azim, ' the 
Great ', 1020, for gaining greatness. Al-Ghafiir, ' the Pardoner ', 
1286, for forgiveness of sins. Ash-Shakur, ' the Requiter, 
Rewarder ', 526, for the removal of sorrow. Al-Kabir, ' the 
Great ', 232, to secure the grant of desires. Al-Haflz, ' the 
Guardian ', 998, to relieve fear. Al-Muqit, ' the Giver of 
Strength ', 550, for success in undertakings. Al-Hasib, 
' the Reckoner ', 80, for release from imprisonment. Al- 
Jalll, ' the Glorious ', 73, for terrifying an enemy. Al-Karim, 
' the Munificent ', 270, for accomplishment of spiritual and 


temporal desires. Ar-Raqlb, ' the Guardian ', 312, for pro- 
tection. Al-Mujib, ' the Answerer of prayer ', 55, to secure 
answers to prayer. Al-Wasi', ' the Liberal ', 137, for pros- 
perity in trade. Al-Wadud, ' the Loving ', 20, for affection. 
Al-Majid, 'the Lord of Glory', 57, for recovery from sickness. 
Al-Bais, ' the Raiser ', 573, to relieve the dead. Ash-Shahid, 
' the Witness ', 319, to cause children to be obedient. Al-Haqq, 
' the Truth ', 108, to acquire Ivnowledge. Al-Wakil, ' the 
Advocate ', 66, for protection from lightning and fire. Al-Qawl, 
' the Strong ', 116, to overcome an enemy. Al-Matin, ' the 
Firm ', 500, for increase of a woman's milk and of water. 
Al-Wall, ' the Patron ', 46, to make a master subservient to 
one's will. Al-Hamid, ' the Praised ', 62, to remove the habit 
of evil-speaking, Al-Muhsi, ' the Numberer, Comprehender ', 
148, for curing forgetfulness. Al-Mubdl, ' He who makes mani- 
fest ', ' the Beginner ', 56, to cause easy labour. Al-Mu'id, the 
Restorer ', 124, for knowledge of mysteries. Al-Mumit, ' the 
Destroyer ', 490, for the death of an enemy. Al-MuhyT, ' the 
Quickeher ', 60, to ward off demons and fairies. Al-Haiy, 
' the Li\ing ', 62, to remove insects which attack fruit trees. 
Al-Qaiyiim, ' the Subsisting ', 156, for long life. Al-Wajid, 
' the Finder ', 14, to recover lost property. Al-Majld, ' the 
Glorious ', 48, to gain wealth. Al-Wahid, ' the One ', 19, to 
acquire knowledge of literature. Al-Samad, ' the Eternal ', 
'the Perpetual', 134, to avert poverty. Al-Qadir, 'Lord of 
Power ', 305, to remove distress and anxiety. Al-Muqtadir, 
' the All Powerful ', 744, to obtain dignity and wealth. Al- 
Muqaddim, ' He who gives the preference ', 184, for warding off 
distress. Al-Mu'akhkhir, ' He who puts whatsoever He wills 
last ', 846, to fulfil desires. Al-Awwal, ' the First ', 37, for 
victory in battle. Al-Akliir, 'the Last', 801, to remove fears. 
Az-Zahir, ' the Evident ', 1106, to preserve from blindness. 
Al-Batin, ' the Hidden ', 62, to become a friend of mankind. 
Al-Wall, ' the Governor ', 47, to save from family trouble. 
Al-Muta'ali, ' the Sublime ', 551, to secure accomplishment of 
wishes. Al-Barr, ' the Righteous ', 202, to remove evil. Al- 
Tauwab, ' the Hearer of the penitent ', 409, for forgiveness of 
sins. Al-Muntaqim, ' the Avenger of sin ', 630, for rest in the 
grave. Al-'Afuw, ' the Pardoner of sin ', 156, for pardon of sins. 
Ar-Ra'uf, 'the Merciful', 286, for freedom of the oppressed. 





Maliku-1-mulk, ' Master of the Kingdom ', 212, for wealth, 
Zu-1-JalalI wa-1-Ikram, ' the Lord of Greatness and Liberahty ', 
1100, for answer to prayer. Al-Muqsit, ' the Just ', 209, to 
repress evil thoughts. Al-Jaml', ' the Assembler ', 114, for 
unity with the separated. Al-Ghani, ' the Independent ', ' the 
Opulent ', 1060, for wealth. Al-Mughm, ' the Enricher ', 1100, 
to become independent of men. Al-Mu'ti, ' the Giver ', 129, to 
preserve from ignominy. Al-Mani', ' the Protector ', 161, to 
give protection from the enemy. Az-Zarr, ' the Spoiler ', 1001, 
to ward off the Devil. An-NafI', ' the Bestower of gain ', 201, 
for success in farming and trade. An-Nur, ' the Light ', 256, to 
illuminate the mind. Al-Hadi, ' the Guide ', 20, for accumu- 
lating wealth. Al-'BadI', ' the Incomparable ', 86, for compre- 
hension of the abstruse. Al-BaqI, 'the Permanent', 113,tosecure 
approval of one's actions. Al-Waris, ' the Inheritor ', 707, for 
peace. Ar-Rashid, ' the Director ', 514, to secure fulfilment of 
desires. As-Sabur, 'the Patient ',298, for delivery from enemies. 
The enumeration of the names varies in different lists. 

Among miscellaneous charms the following may be noted. 

To prevent voiding urine at night hang the following amulet 
round the neck of the patient : 


5 MusilUh.Slll 

II 5 30 

D H H H H 

(1 n A a HI 

Rijalu L ghaib 

Yam -mar ilS 

By keeping the following talisman at hand, demons, fairies, 
and sorcerers will be baffled : 

















CHAP. XX\ai 



If a man is afflicted with strain of the muscles near the navel 
(naf talna), caused by lifting weights, or from some internal 
artery, which Indian physicians say occasionally shifts its place 
and causes various morbid symptoms, a couple of copies of the 
following verse should be made, one washed off and drunk, the 
other tied with a thread over the navel : ' God is the Lord ! 
But His purpose most men do not understand.' Write this in 
Arabicin twenty-five compartments,making up the incantation. 

The following cures itch. Two or three copies are to be 
made, washed off, and drunk now and then : 






W r 2 

uj r 

UJ d a 

a 'a 








5 a 




To cure piles — Repeat the following charm over water, blow 
upon it, and make the patient drink it off : ' Departest thou ? 
Depart ! Depart ! Depart ! Running water, dry up ! Such 
is the order of the Saint Jalal Jahaniya Sahib Jahangasht ! 
Quickly begone ! ' 

The following magic square, tied on the back, renders an 
attack of small-pox mild : 





















The following magic square, formed out of the numbers of 
the Koran, is good for all purposes : 

2. 911, 53G, G42 

7 764,097,710 

970, 512,213 

1. 941,024. 42G 



6. 793,585, 497 


When a house is haunted by the Jinn or by demons the 
following amulet should be hung over the door and they will 
vanish : ' O Muhammad ! O Allah ! The faithful He regards ; 
to the faithful is success from God ! Verily, verily, victory He 
regards ! The Best of Helpers, the Elect, the Best for us, 
verily ! Towards men the most patient of Helpers, the Best ! ' 
On the left side write : ' O Mikail ! O 'AH ! O 'Izrail ! ' 
On the right : ' O Jabrail ! O 'AIT ! O 'Izrail ! ' When a man 
is beset by a devil, the following diagram should be hung on 
a wall, so that the sight of the patient may daily fall upon it. 
This scares the devil. ' In the name of Solomon ! In the 
name of the Merciful, the Compassionate ! Do not rise against 
me, but come and surrender to Musalmans ! ' 

A horoscope {zdicha, janampattri) is a slip of paper illumi- 
nated with sketches and aspects of the planets, eclipses, and other 
important events, and describing the duration of life, habits, 
tastes, dispositions, and the future fate of the person for whom 
it is constructed. The system in use by Musalmans closely 
corresponds with that of the Hindu Joshi or astrologer. The 
manner of consulting it in sickness is as follows : Learn the name 
of the patient and that of his mother and ascertain their numeri- 
cal value by the rules of Abjad ; add them together and divide 
by 12. If 1 remain, the destiny of the patient is in the sign of 
the Ram (hamal) ; if 2, in that of the Bull {saur) ; 3, in the 
Twins (iowza); 4, in the Crab (samfaw) ; 5, in the Lion (asarf) ; 6, 
in the Virgin {sumbula) ; 7, in the Scales (mizdn) ; 8, in the 
Scorpion ('aqrab) ; 9, in the Archer (qaus) ; 10, in the He-goat 
(jadi) ; 11, in the Watering-pot {dalv) ; 12, in the Fishes (hut). 
When the sign of the Zodiac has been ascertained, find his 
planet and his qualities from the table already given. But the 
immediate object is to ascertain the danger-point of life 




which, if he survives, he will reach his full span, 125 
years. The following table gives the details. If death is 
portended it can be warded off only by the use of amulets 
and charms. 

CO « 






























































When it is desired to predict the future progress of a sick 
person, it is necessary, first, to ascertain the time when he 
was taken ill. When this is known from the statement given 
below for each day of the week, his prospects can be foretold. 
If the date has been forgotten, the number of letters in the 
names of the patient and of his mother should be added 
together and divided by 7. If 1 remains, he must have been 
taken ill on Saturday ; 2, on Sunday ; 3, on Monday ; 4, on 
Tuesday ; 5, on Wednesday ; 6, on Thursday ; 0, on Friday. 

Before dealing with the week-days we must explain the use 
of propitiatory offerings {sadqa, sadaqa), which are used to 
overcome an unfavourable forecast. These consist of money, 
an animal, clothes, grain, food, &c., which are waved over the 
patient or merely shown to him, and are given away to Faqirs 
in his name ; or they are laid under a tree, near water, or 

262 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxvii 

at a place where four roads meet.'^ MuUas and Syanas, that 
is, learned men and exorcists, have their own special kinds of 
offerings. Thus, they make an image of pulse {mOsh) flour, 
a span and a half or two spans long, in the shape of a man 
or of Hanuman, the Hindu nionkey god. In the mouth of 
this figure they put a stick about a span long with rags wound 
round both ends, and set them alight, as well as lamps made 
of paste put on the head of the figure. On its forehead they 
make a Hindu sectarial mark (ndmam). Then they pierce the 
figure all over with nails and set it up in a large basin {kundd), 
or on a potsherd (thikra). In front of it they lay balls of 
boiled rice coloured black, yellow, and red, eggs coloured in 
the same way, and a sheep's liver, which they occasionally 
pierce with thorns, some sheep's blood, two or three uncooked 
fishes, and then scatter flowers and greenery round the offering. 
They then light a lamp made of flour paste with four wicks 
made out of the clothes worn by the patient, soaked in various 
kinds of oU, and place the lamps on the blood. When all the 
lamps are lit, the figure looks as hideous as the Devil himself. 
They then wave the basin or potsherd over the patient and 
put it away, after which they wash the patient's hands and 
feet, and tie on his neck an amulet or charmed cord, such as 
may be found necessary. Such charmed cords are commonly 
used in this way, and the Koran speaks of women who blow 
on knots to do mischief to those whom they dislike .^ 

In northern India a thread of five colours, wound three times 
round the thumb and then put on the great toe at night for 
a fortnight, cures piles, while for quartan ague they tie a cord 
seven times round an acacia arabica tree (kikar), and let the 
patient embrace the tree.^ 

In this respect the days of the week are important. Saturday, 
Saturn's day, is unlucky, and if a person be taken ill on that day 
the origin of the disease may be attributed to grief, heat of 
blood, to the Evil Eye, the symptoms being headache, palpita- 

> On the cross-roads as a place where dangerous influences can be 
dispersed, see Westermarck, Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, 
ii. 256 f. 

2 Chap, cxiii, with Sale's note. 

3 PNQ. i. 125 ; ii. 205 ; cf. Elworthy, The Evil Eye, 413 ; Hastings 
Diet. Bible, v. 552. 


tion of the heart, extreme thirst, restlessness, sleeplessness 
bleeding from the nose or bowels. It may be inferred that the 
illness will last seven days, will be at its height for one day and 
seven hours, and that the patient will recover. The remedies 
are to make propitiatory offerings and to use amulets and 
charms. Illness on Sunday, the Svm's day, is due to the Evil 
Eye of a woman of a green complexion, in whose presence he 
has eaten some rich savoury food. The symptoms are lassi- 
tude followed by rigours, heat, headache, pains in the bones, 
eyes suffused with blood, countenance yellow, sleeplessness at 
night. The disease will last fourteen days and will then cease, 
and the treatment is that usually given in such symptoms. 
Illness on Monday, the Moon's day, is due to a chill after bath- 
ing or to over-exertion, the symptoms being pain in the loins 
and calves, palpitation in the liver, retching, giddiness, extreme 
drowsiness. It will last a fortnight, when the patient after the 
usual treatment will recover. Sickness on Tuesday, Mars' day, 
is due to the fairies or demons, the symptoms being pain in the 
chest and abdomen, specially round the navel, shivering, 
want of sleep and of appetite, great thirst, incoherence of 
speech, eyes bloodshot. It will last a week, followed by 
recovery under the usual treatment. Illness on Wednesday, 
Mercury's day, is due to non-fulfilment of a vow made for the 
dead, grief over something lost or dread of an enemy, the 
symptoms being pain in the head, neck, wrists, or feet, and it 
will last nine days and be at its worst for a day and a watch, 
or fifteen hours. Illness on Thursday, Jupiter's day, is due to 
being overshadowed by a fairy, with symptoms of pain in the 
neck and umbilicus, broken sleep, distaste for food and drink, 
the patient lying quiet with his eyes shut. It will last ten days, 
and then recovery will follow the usual treatment. Illness on 
Friday, the day of Venus, is due to some corporeal affection, the 
symptoms great drowsiness and lassitude. It will last twelve 
days, and be at its worst for two days, followed by recovery. 



In order to ascertain where stolen goods are concealed, the 
condition of a patient possessed by the Devil, or where treasure 
has been buried, it is the custom to rub coUyrium (anjan) on 
the palms of the hands of a child or adult, and to make him 
stare hard at it. In the Panjab charms are written by a sorcerer 
on a piece of paper, and over it a large drop of ink is poured. 
Flowers are put in the hands of a young child who is told to 
look into the ink and say, ' Sunmion the Four Guardians ! ' 
The child when asked if he or she can see anything, answers, 
' I see four persons '. Then he is told to ask them to clean 
the place, lay carpets, and summon their King. When he 
appears, questions are put to him through the child, and 
appropriate answers are received. No one hears or sees the 
spirits except the child.^ Ja'far Sharif remarks that he has 
heard it generally said that the Hindu Orders of Jogls and San- 
nyasis practise these arts, and that in this way they have 
discovered hidden treasure. Some foolish people say that 
buried treasure shows like sparks of fire at night, and that 
sometimes a ball of fire rolls about near the place where it is 
concealed. In northern India it, or rather the snake which 

1 NINQ. i. 85. On Lckanomancy, or magic by staring into a vessel 
filled with some fluid, see Halliday, Greek Divination, 145 ff. ; Lane, 
ME. i. 337 ff. ; Burton, Pilgrimage, i. 387 f. ; ERE. iv. 351 ff., 807, 817. 
Compare the Magic Mirror, Lane, ME. i. 337. In the time of Mahmud 
Shah of Gujarat (a. D. 1511-26) the king of the fairies appeared to 
a girl in a magic mirror (Bayley, Muhammadan Dynasties of Gujarat, 
323 f.). The holy stone of John Dee used for a similar purpose is now in 
the British Museum [EB. vii. 920 f. ; Brand, Observations on Popular 
Antiquities, iii. 60 f.). His magic mirror is in private hands (10 Azotes 
and Queries, i. 16). 



guards it, is said to speak from the place where it is hidden.^ 
From such appearances, and by the aid of the coUyriuni, its 
position may be ascertained. The person to whose pahn tlie 
collyrium has been apphed often utters ridiculous nonsense. 
For instance, he says, ' At such and such a place there is a 
metal pot full of rupees, pagodas, or gold mohurs '. If he is 
asked about a patient his answer is, ' The disease is bodily, 
or produced by sorcery, or the demon of such and such a place 
wants food '. 

The collyrium (anjan) is of five kinds : for the discovery 
of stolen property {arth, ' object, purpose ') ; for inquiries 
about devils, evil spirits, and the condition of the sick ; for 
discovering where treasure is concealed ; that which is applic- 
cable to all purposes ; and that which when rubbed on a person's 
eyes or forehead renders him invisible, while he hiinself is able 
to see. I myself, says Ja'far Sharif, place no faith in these 
collyriums and invocations of spirits (hazirdt). Though I was 
born in Hindostan and educated among Musalmans, by the 
grace of God and the study of good books, and by good counsel, 
the belief in such things has been effaced from my mind. Let 
no one say that I wish to flatter Europeans — May their 
good fortune continue ! — God preserve me from any false 
assertions ! 

To prepare the collyrium, in the case of the first and second 
varieties, take the root of the prickly chaff-flower (aghddd kz 
jar, achyranthes aspera), Indian or white liquorice root (safed 
ghungchi ki jar, abrus precatorius), or merely trianthema 
decandra, called bishkaprd or hishkoprd,^ grind them well with 
water and rub the powder on the inside of a new earthen jar. 
Place this inverted over a lamp lighted with castor oil and 
collect the lampblack. This is then applied to the hand of 
a footling child or one born by the foot presentation,'' who 
will be able to describe the place where stolen property is 

' Crooke, Popular Religion, ii. 135. 

- Watt, Econ. Diet. i. 81, 10 ; vi, part 4, 77. 

^ In Great Britain special powers are attributed to a child born in 
this way {County Folklore, Fife, 396 ; Gregor, Folklore oj N. Scotland, 
45 f.). In the Panjab, to cure lumbago, the part is touched with the 
foot of such a child (PNQ. i. 112). Also sec Rendel Harris, Boanerges, 
56, 64, 110, 125, 133, 139. 

266 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxviii 

hidden, and the condition of the sick, whether the patient is 
attacked by a bodily disease, or has been possessed by the 

In the third type, take a piece of white cloth and soak it 
in the blood of one of the following animals or birds : a cat, 
a drongo shrike {kolsa, dicrurus macrocereus), an owl (ghuggu), 
the larger owl (chugd). Then roll up in it their eyes, livers, and 
gall-bladders, and use the cloth thus prepared as a wick for 
a lamp fed with castor oil. If the hand be rubbed with this 
lampblack, hidden treasure will become visible. 

In the fourth type, a handful of country beans (sim, balar, 
dolichos lahlab) is burnt in a new earthen pot so as to prevent the 
smoke from escaping, and the charcoal is well pounded and made 
into a smooth paste with castor oil. This is put on a person's 
hand, and he is told to stare at it. In half an hour or so he 
will say, ' I see that the carpet-spreader (farrdsh) has come and 
has swept the place. Then comes the water-carrier who has 
sprinkled it with water. Then the host of the Jinn, demons , and 
fairies arrives followed by their commander, who takes his seat 
on a throne '. So he goes on telling all he sees. Then the 
Jinn leader is told the purpose for which he has been summoned, 
and he never fails to do what he is required to do. This 
collyrium applied to any one's hand makes him see, whereas 
the other varieties must be used on a boy or girl born by the foot 
presentation, one who has grey or cat's eyes, who has never 
been bitten by a dog, and has no scar of a burn on the body. 
To such a person the use of the collyrium and the control of 
spirits will be vouchsafed, but probably not to others. 

The fifth variety {alop anjan) will make the person using it 

Certain well-known kinds of wicks are used for the control 
of spirits {hazirdt). When such a wick (palifd) is to be used, 
they take a new earthen pot with its cover, wash them well in 
water, daub a few patches of sandalwood paste on the pot, tie 
wreaths of flowers round its neck, place near it all sorts of fruit 
and flowers, and burn benjamin or benzoin pastilles. Then 
they pour some perfumed oil into the hollow of the cover, light 
a wick, and repeat the appropriate spell in Arabic. The boy 
or girl is bathed, dressed in clean clothes, adorned with flowers. 




and he or she is told to stare at the flame and tell every- 
thing which is seen. As in the case of the coUyrium already 
described, the child will tell everything about stolen property, 
diseases, and the like. 

Some write the following charm, paste it on the back 
of a looking-glass, and make the child stare into the 
glass : 






present ! 







Some people write the following magic square on a porcelain 
or copper plate, fill the latter with water, and make the child 
look into it : 










Some people, in addition to these methods, write the follow- 
mg charm on the child's forehead : ' We have removed the 
veil from off thy face, and thy sight is become new this day. 
Come, Ja'far, the Jinn, son of Taiyar — " the flying one " ! ' 

Other magic squares are used for this purpose, and they 




are written, with the purpose for which they are designed, on 
the magic wick. The following are examples : 

































To these may be added the following invocation : ' In the 
Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate ! ' with the 
following names of the Jinn : Ashtltan, Shatltan, Kabushin, 
Shalisha, Shishin, Qurbatashin. 

The Fairy Bath is used by men and women in the following 
cases : when a person suffers from chronic disease ; if he be 
married and have no issue for four or five years ; if a virgin 
becomes pregnant, or, through the influence of the fairies, 
suffers from haemorrhage or abortion ; if a child dies immedi- 
ately after birth, or remains weak and puny ; if a man and his 
wife cannot agree ; if a man fails to obtain employment, or if 
he finds service and it turns out unprofitable. When such 
misfortunes occur it is wise to perform the rite of the Fairy 
Bath (Pari ka nahdn). Here the word ' bathing ' includes the 
recital of incantations and other similar rites. The methods of 
using collyrium (anjan) and the invocation of spirits (hdzirdt), 
already described, are employed to ascertain things unknown. 
But the Bath is used to remove known evils, such as the 
influence of demons. The Bath rite is done by a Syana or 
sorcerer, by a MuUa or learned man, or by the Parlwall or 
Fairy Women. The method is as follows. They bring water 
from seven or nine different sources, wells, rivers, the sea, and 
so on, and put it into an earthen pot with leaves of different 
trees or plants, such as the pomegranate, guava, lime, orange. 


jasmine, Spanish jasmine, sweet basil, and henna privet. If 
the object of the rite be the removal of the influence of a demon, 
the 36th or 73rd chapter of the Koran is read over the pot ; 
if the object be to change the luck (bahkt hholna), the 48th 
chapter is read. Then they make out of pulse flour the figure 
of a man or of the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman, between 
a span and a cubit long, tie to its neck a cord made of three 
kinds of coloured thread, while the other end is attached to the 
waist or neck of the patient, and lay before it the liver of 
a sheep, coco-nuts, flowers, parched rice, glass bangles, a piece 
of yellow cloth, a sheep, and a fowl. They then take nine 
limes and repeat over them the Ayatu-1-kursi or Throne verse 
of the Koran (ii. 256), and place the limes on the head, shoulders, 
loins, back, knees, and feet of the sick person. Then they bathe 
him with water from the pot already described. They dig 
a hole to contain the bath water, because if any one happens to 
tread on it the patient's disease will be communicated to him. 
For this reason the rite is usually done near some water, or in 
a garden. This bathing is done on the three first Saturdays, 
Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays of the month. At 
the last bathing they pour over him three times water from 
a clean earthen pot, once on his head, then on his right shoulder, 
then on his left, and then dash the pot to pieces before him. 
Immediately after the bath they tie to his neck, upper arm, 
or wrists a special magic square intended to cast out the demon, 
or remove the trouble from which he is suffering. The Fairy 
Bath is well known among women, and the rite is carried out 
by one of the women who have control of the fairies, but these 
are few in number. 

Another device is that of the Fairy Tray. The assemblage 
of the fairies (parian ka akhdra) usually meets on Thursdays 
or Fridays, either by day or night. The ritual is as follows : 
They hang a canopy {chdndnl) to the ceiling of the room and 
spread a carpet on the floor. The Fairy Woman puts on a 
clean rich dress, red or white, smears sandalwood paste on her 
neck and henna on her hands, the latter being washed off wlien 
it colours her fingers, adorns herself with flowers, puts rose 
essence {Htr) on her dress, lampblack or antimony on her eyes, 
and blackening powder (missi) on her teeth. Those possessed 

270 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxviii 

by demons and the spectators dress in their best and assemble 
in a room where women singers of the Dom caste perform. 
Then the Fairy Woman causes her who is possessed by the 
fairies (asebwali) to seat herself in front on a metal tray (tabaq). 
There are two kinds of Fairy Trays {pari ka tabaq), one called 
the Flower Tray {phulka tabaq), consisting of a white cloth spread 
on the ground on which are arranged in a circle sandalwood, 
aloes wood, coloured powder, betel leaves, betel nuts and fruits 
of all kinds, in the centre of which the Fairy Woman sits. The 
other Tray, to be described later on, is called the Fruit Tray 
{phulka tabaq). After she has sat there a while the fairies descend 
upon her. She becomes distracted and in response to the music 
she lets her hair loose and sits on her knees (duzanu) or cross- 
legged (charzanu). This sitting on the knees is different from 
the European mode of kneeling. The woman rests her body 
or sits upon the left foot placed horizontally with the sole 
turned upwards, while the right foot is held perpendicular, 
with the great toe touching the ground and the heel up, 
the hands resting on the thighs. In repeating prayers 
in this position the eyes are diverted to the region of the heart, 
the right foot is never moved from its original position, while 
the left is turned vertically in the act of prostration (sijda), 
when the forehead touches the ground, and then placed again 
in its original position and the worshipper sits on the sole of it.^ 
Then the fairy woman whirls her head round and round, and 
taking hold of her hair brushes the patient two or three times 
with it. The latter is then affected, and rolls her head in the 
same way. At this crisis either she or the fairy woman, or the 
fairies occupying her body, speaking through her, appoint the 
number of Baths or Trays which the patient requires, the 
place where, and the dates and times when, they are to take 
place. These injunctions are obeyed. They go on in this way, 

' The Mughal Emperors used to sit on the throne with crossed legs 
{chaharzanu), a position of comfort which Orientals allow to persons of 
rank.^ This position, however, is called Pharaoh's mode of sitting 
(Fira'unt nishast), if assumed in the presence of strangers, Pharaoh 
being proverbial for vain-glory. The position suitable in society is 
the duzanu, the person first kneehng down with the body straight ; he 
then lets his body gradually sink till he sits on his heels, the arms being 
kept extended, and the hands resting on the knees (Ain, i. 160). 


singing and playing all or most part of the night. The moment 
a fairy besets the fairy woman she whirls her head round and 
round, and when it leaves her she lies down and rests. 

There are in all fourteen fairy assemblages (parian ke akhdre), 
and the fairy woman acts according to the particular kind of 
fairy which possesses her. For instance, if the shadow of a 
fairy belonging to the troupe of Raja Indra (he being the Hindu 
god of the firmament and his heaven is well supplied with 
fairies)^ falls upon her, she ties bells (ghunghru) to her ankles 
and begins to dance. If the fairy belongs to the court of Gend 
Badshah or to that of Sikandar or Alexander Badshah, she 
puts on men's clothes, which were previously laid on the Tray, 
and dagger in hand, stroking and twirling her moustaches, she 
pretends to be angry and calls out to the possessed woman, 
' Thou fool ! Thou coquette ! Hast thou forgotten me and 
created another ? ' To this the other answers humbly, ' Sir 
(Miydn) ! I am your selfsame devoted slave, and I have often 
stated my case to your wife. Probably she has forgotten to 
tell you '. To this the reply is, ' No one has told me of it, but 
since you say so I forgive you '. Then with a laugh she pelts 
the other with a flower or with the refuse {ugal) of the betel 
which she has been chewing. As these women go on whirling 
their heads round and round those who want anything state 
it. Thus, they ask whether certain friends are well or ill and 
when they intend to return ; if they are ill, whether this is 
a bodily ailment, or because the shadow of a demon has fallen 
upon them. The remedies prescribed by the fairy woman 
are employed with a firm faith in their efficacy. As they 
whirl their heads round and round, women who venerate theni 
fan them with a fly-whisk or with a handkerchief. In return 
the Fairy Women give them some refuse food, and when they 
partake of it they, too, become excited, swing their heads, lie 
down to rest, and in a few minutes recover their senses. The 
fairy women exliibit their powers to impress other women, 
never in the presence of men. Sensible, respectable women 
never sanction such rites, and do not take part in them. Some 
women who want something and who are possessed by demons, 

* For the fairies of Indra's court, see W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, 
Vedic and Puranic, 52. 

272 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxviii 

instead of attending these seances, send for one of the women 
to their houses, where the rite is performed. 

The Fruit Tray rite is done as follows : Place on a carpet all 
kinds of fruits, fresh and dry, sixteen dishes of sweet stew, 
sixteen jars of sugar sherbet, seventeen earthen plates full of 
rice milk, and other kinds of food, such as cakes, sesamum, and 
rice soaked in syrup, coco-nut kernels, almonds and dates sliced, 
with clothes, such as drawers made of mixed silk and cotton, 
a skirt, a red veil, a bodice, bangles, a pair of shoes and some 
money. Then the visitors sit up all night while the fairy woman 
becomes affected as already described. Early on the following 
morning the fairy repeats the names of all the fairies, 
the red, the green, the yellow, the earthy, the fiery, the Hur or 
damsels of Paradise,^ the emerald, the diamond, and so forth. 
Then she makes a prostration {sijda), and taking some of the 
fruits, bangles, and other things wrapped up in a red or saffron 
coloured cloth, carries them to the bank of a river or tank, and 
throws them in, as the share of the fairies. The remainder 
she distributes as relics to those present, and takes the clothes 
as her own share. 

The Fairy Woman's Bath (nahan) is done as follows : Take 
seven new earthen pots, fill them with water from seven or 
nine wells, spread a red handkerchief over them, put in a few 
leaves taken from seven or nine trees, and lay them aside. 
Then seat the woman who is possessed by the fairies on a stool, 
while four women hold a saffron -coloured handkerchief over her 
head as a canopy. The fairy woman pours the water over her 
head through the handkerchief, and divides some limes, as 
already described. When this is done, she takes the woman 
to a river or tank and bathes her. Wliile this is going on, one 
of the fairies descends on the Fairy Woman, and she swings her 
head as she stands. The other women keep filling pots of 
water and pour them over the woman who is possessed, and 
while doing so call out, ' Catch hold of the foul shadow that is 
upon her, bind it, banish it to Mount Qaf, imprison it there 
and burn it to ashes ! ' At this crisis, if the other women are 

* For the Hur or damsels of Paradise, see Koran (Iv. 56-78) : ' Therein 
shall be the damsels with retiring glances, whom nor man nor Jinn 
hath touched before them ' ; Burton, AN. iii. 20. 


slow in handing the water to her, she cries, ' Wretches ! ^Miat 
evil has come upon you ? I will destroy you ! Give me water 
quickly, that I may beat with a shoe the foul creature that is 
on her and destroy it ! ' The women, in terror, hasten to hand 
the water to her. She then repeats the names of some demons 
and fairies, blows upon the patient, dresses her in dry clothes, 
waves a black cock or hen over her, and gives it away as a 
propitiatory offering. She then takes three different kinds of 
coloured thread (gandd), of silk or cotton, plain or twisted, and 
makes twenty-one or twenty-two knots in them. Mullas and 
Syanas, in making each knot, recite an incantation over it, 
blow upon it, and when it is ready bind it on the neck or upper 
arm of the patient. But these Fairy Women are usually 
illiterate, and do not even know the names of God. So they 
merely make a knot in the thread. The use of these magic 
cords is illustrated in a story told of the Prophet. The Jews 
bribed the sorcerer Labid and his daughters to bewitch Muham- 
mad. They got some hairs from his beard, tied eleven knots 
with them on a palm branch, and threw it into a well which they 
covered with a large stone. This caused the Prophet to lose his 
appetite, to pine away, and neglect his wives. Gabriel told 
him the secret, the well was emptied and the knots untied, 
whereupon the spell was broken and the Prophet was relieved.^ 
During these rites the Fairy Woman holds in her hand a cane, 
either plain or ornamented with stripes of silver leaf. On the 
Tray day she places this before her, and every now and again 
fumigates it with the smoke of benzoin, telling the bystanders 
that the cane belongs to the fairies. Of late years men have 
begun to pretend that fairies beset them, and they whirl their 
heads and thus make money. I have heard, says Ja'far 
Sharif, that they use these disreputable means to debauch other 
men's wives. 

1 Muir, Life, 371 ; Margoliouth, Mohammed, 231 ; Koran, cxiii. 4. 
On the use of knotted threads in magic, see Enthoven, Folklore Notes, 
Gujarat, 125, Konkan, 33, 63 ; Russell, iii. 252 ; iv. 110, 386 ; Rose, i 
253 ; Thurston, Castes, vi. 70. 




There are many excellent means by which thieves may be 
compelled to restore stolen property.^ 

The owner of the stolen goods sends for a thief-catcher, and 
if he suspects anyone he calls a few of his neighbours to attend. 
The thief-catcher daubs the floor of the room with yellow or 
red ochre, and draws on it a hideous figure like one of those 
already described. He then rubs some assafoetida near the 
centre of the two stones of a hand mill, and places it in the centre 
of the figure. He binds some flax cloth round the middle pin 
of the mill, so that the upper stone seems to be suspended in 
the air. Near the mill he lays some fruit or food, burns frankin- 
cense and lights a lamp with oil in a human skull-cap. He 
then tells every man and woman present to touch the centre of 
the mill and come back to him, saying that no innocent person 
need fear to do so, because the stone is suspended in the air 
by magic, and that it will fall on the hand of the thief, so that 
he will be caught between the two stones. After they have 
undergone this test, the thief-catcher smells the hand of each of 
them, and when he finds that some one's hand has no smell of 
the assafoetida, because he was afraid to touch the mill, he 
takes him aside and says, ' I will not expose you if you promise 
to restore the goods '. If he really is the thief he accepts the 

Another method is the following : The thief-catcher, having 
arranged the room as before, places there two human skull- 
caps, one full of milk, the other of sherbet, makes an image of 
flour paste, puts a lamp on its head, lays flowers and fruit before 

> These methods are common in countries beside India. For the 
Malay Peninsiila, see Skeat, Malay Magic, 537 f. In Persia diviners of 
stolen goods are known as Rammal {rami, ' to make a mat of palm- 
leaves '), and their methods resemble those described in the text (Wills, 
120). It was used in Buddhist times (Jataka, Cambridge trans., i. 224). 


it, and drives into the image as many wooden pegs as there are 
persons present. He pretends to go on praying, and as each 
person comes before him he draws out one of the pegs and 
hands it to him, teUing him that the peg belonging to the 
thief will certainly increase in size. When the business is 
over he measures the pegs and often finds that the culprit, 
in order to save himself, has cut a piece off his peg. 

An effectual method is to make a diagram as follows con- 
taining the name of each person present, with that of his 
father : 

So and So 



Son of So and So 



The thief-catcher folds up each of the papers in a pill made 
of wheat flour. He puts fresh water into a brass water-vessel 
(lota) and throws all the pills into it. The pill containing the 
thief's ticket will rise and float on the surface of the water. 

If the following diagram is drawn on an egg, which is then 
buried in a grave, the belly of the thief will swell and remain 
so until the egg is dug up. 

The Eternal One 

Buddhu' Grant that the belly of him who 
has stolen the goods may swell bu the 
inPuence of this Charm I 



The following verses of the Koran,^ written on a green lime 
fruit and burnt in the fire, or buried in the earth, will cause the 
ruin of the thief : ' Of what thing did God create man ? Out of 
moist germs. He created and fashioned him, then made an easy 
passage from the womb, then causeth him to die and burieth 
him ; then, when He pleaseth, He will raise him again to life. 
Aye, but man hath not yet fulfilled the bidding of his Lord. 
Let man look at his food. It was He rained down the copious 
rain, then cleft the earth with clefts, and caused the up-gro^^i;h 

' Ixxx. 31-7. 

276 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxix 

of the grain.' When the thief delivers the goods to the owner, 
if the same verse be recited over some water which is breathed 
upon and given him to drink, all his trouble will disappear. 
Or two persons are made to hold up a water-vessel on the 
points of their right forefingers, pressed against the ring round 
the neck, on which the names of the j>ersons concerned have 
been inscribed. Then the thirty-sixth chapter of the Koran 
is recited over it from the beginning up to the part where it 
saith, ' But he said, O that my people knew how gracious 
God hath been to me, and that He hath made me one of the 
honoured ones ! ' ^ When the names written on the jar are 
called out, the jar will rock from side to side when it comes 
to the name of the thief. 

A certain method, says Ja'far Sharif, which I have seen with 
my own eyes, is this : Apply lampblack to the bottom of a 
bell-metal cup, collect a number of boys and get them to place 
their hands, one by one, upon it. As the cup begins to move, 
when any boy puts his hands on it, the thief-catcher presses his 
hands on those of the boy and says, ' May the cup move towards 
the thief ! ' or, ' May it go where the property is hidden ! ' and 
it will certainly do as he wishes. ^ Ja'far Sharif tried this 
experiment when a girl stole his sister's nose-ring (nath), and 
covered it with a small tray (khwancha). By this means the 
girl was detected and the jewel recovered. People may believe 
it or not as they please. 

A similar charm is said to have been practised in the reign of 
Aurangzeb. Sorcerers ' take a brass bowl and put in it some 
grains of uncooked rice and some flowers, over which an in- 
cantation has been recited. Then they take another bowl of 
the same metal and beating it with a short stick they say some 
words softly, and the first bowl with the flowers begins to move 
of itself very slowly. At last it arrives at the place where the 
thing is lying. The thief, seeing the crowd and hearing the 
sound of the basin, runs off, abandoning everything '.^ 

» xxxvi. 24-8. 

2 In Persia a cup, engraved with verses of the Koran, is rolled by the 
diviner, and it moves to the place where the stolen goods are con- 
cealed (Morier, Hajji Baha, 311). 

' Manucci, iii. 213. 


The charm of ' turning the Koran ' {Qu'rdn gardan) is done 
by placing a key in the book, so that the Ixandle and part of the 
shaft may project, and it is fastened by a piece of cord tied 
round the volume. Two persons put their forefingers under 
the handle and so support the book, which hangs down lightly 
between their hands. A certain verse is recited for every 
suspected person, and at the name of the thief the volume turns 
round of itself, so that the handle slips off the forefingers of the 
two persons that hold it.^ A similar charm is done by giving 
new rice to the suspected person, whose saliva dries up in his 
terror and he is unable to chew or swallow the rice. 

* Burton, Sindh, 182. This is the key and Bible charm practised in 
Great Britain (Brand, Observations on Popular Antiquities, iii. 353 f.). 



MusALMANS, in consequence of tlie difficulties and danger of 
travel, and the isolation due to localized village life and caste 
prejudices, take careful precautions, as Hindus do, to avoid the 
risk attending journeys. Certain spirits of the air, known as 
Rijalu-1-ghaib, or Mardanu-1-ghaib, ' the hidden, concealed 
men ', are supposed to be invisible, and to move in a circular 
orbit round the world, their stations varying on certain days. 
Their influence is specially exercised for three and a half hours 
at the close of each lunar day, during which interval it is 
unlucky to undertake a journey. These spirits correspond to 
the Yogini or Lokapala, ' regents of the quarter of the heaven ', 
of the Hindus, and the Chihal Abdal, or ' forty holy men ' of the 
Persians.^ When a man is starting on a journey the Rijalu-1- 
ghaib should not be in his front, but behind, or on his left. If 
this is not the case, he will meet with distress and hardship and 
his property will be in danger. Some astrologers say that there 
is a planet named Shukur-i-yulduz which is so dangerous, 
that if a traveller finds it on his front or right he will suffer 
distress. In 1806 when the Persian ambassador was starting 
for India, astrologers decided that a fortunate conjunction of 
stars existed which, if missed, could not recur for some months. 
At the same time he was told that he could not pass either 
through the door of his own house or the gate of the fort, as an 
invisible but baneful constellation was exactly opposite. To 
avoid this difficulty an opening was made in the walls of his 
house to enable him to reach the shore in safety .^ 

The Rijalu-1-ghaib abide in different places on different days 
of the month. To ascertain their position, tables, couplets, 

» Lane, AN. iii. 669 ; Burton, AN. ii. Ill ; viii. 13 ; Rose, 1. 225 ff., 
243 ff. ; Manu, Laws, v. 96 ; PNQ. i. 136 ; ii. 44 ; cf. W. W. Fowler 
Religious Experiences of tlie Roman People, 251. 

" Malcolm, Eist. of Persia, i. 417. 



and hemistiches are used, of which a few are given below, 
the first table being that generally followed : 




.- — IZ ^^ 




Rijaiu I- ^haib 










There is also a mnemonic couplet, as follows : 
East, on Saturday and Monday ; on Friday and Sunday, 
west ; on Tuesday and Wednesday, north ; on Thursday, 
south addrest. 

To ascertain the stations of the Rijalu-1-ghaib some have 
recourse to a hemistich {misra'). The letters which compose 
it stand for the different quarters of the globe. They are 
K N J G B M sh, K N J G B M sh, repeated twice, so as to 
form words which are pronounced 

Kanajgin bamshin, kanajgin bimash 
Kanajgin bamshin, kanajgin bimash. 
K stands for SE. ; N, SW. ; J, S. ; G, W. ; B, NW. ; A, 
NE. ; M, E. ; sh, N. ; K, SE. ; N, SW. ; J, S. ; G, W. ; 
B, NW. ; M, NE. ; sh, E. ; K, N. ; N, SE. ; J, SW. ; G, S. ; 
B, W. ; A, NW. ; M, NE. ; sh, E. ; K, N. ; N, SE. ; J, SW. ; 
G, S. ; B, W. ; M, NW. ; sh, NE. 

If a person wish to go on a journey on a Saturday, he 
should eat fish before starting, for in that case his wishes will 
soon be accomplished. If on a Sunday, he should eat betel 
leaf and he will prosper. If on a Monday, and he looks in 
a mirror, he will speedily gain wealth. If on a Tuesday, and 
he eats coriander seed, everything will happen as he wishes. 

280 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxx 

If on a Wednesday, and he eats curdled milk, he will return 
in good health and with a large fortune. If on a Thursday, 
and he eats raw sugar, he will return with plenty of goods 
and chattels. If on a Friday, and he eats dressed meat, he 
will return with abundance of pearls and precious stones. 

In every month there are seven evil days on which no good 
work should be begun : the 3rd, 5th, 13th, 16th, 21st, 24th, 
25th. Others say that in every month there are two evil 
days : Muharram, 4th, 10th ; Safar, 1st, 8th ; Rabi'u-1-awwal, 
10th, 20th ; RabI'u-1-akhir, 1st, 11th ; Jamadau-1-awwal, 10th, 
llth ; Jamadau-1-akhir, 1st, 11th; Rajab, 11th, 13th ; Sha'ban, 
4th, 6th ; Ramazan, 3rd, 20th ; Zu-1-qa'da, 2nd, 3rd ; Zu- 
1-hijja, 6th, 25th. According to the Traditions, Thursday 
is the best for starting on an expedition.^ Humayun, the 
Emperor, issued careful rules on this subject. Saturdays and 
Thursdays were fixed for visits from literary and religious 
men, because Saturday belongs to Saturn, protector of religious 
men and respectable families, and Thursday to Jupiter, pro- 
tector of Sayyids, learned men and teachers of the Law. 
Sundays and Tuesdays were fixed for State officers and govern- 
ment business, because Sunday belongs to the Sun, which 
rules the fates of rulers and kings, and Tuesday is that of 
Mars, patron of warriors and brave men. Mondays and 
Wednesdays were allotted to pleasure parties, as Monday is 
the day of the Moon and Wednesday of Mercury, ' and it was 
therefore reasonable that on those days he should keep com- 
pany with young men, beautiful as the Moon, and hear sweet 
songs and delightful music. On Fridays, as the name Jum' 
imports, he called to prayer all the assemblies, and sat with 
them as long as he found leisure from other duties '.^ 

Some people dispense with the above tables and count the 
days of the month on their fingers, beginning with the little 
finger, counting it as 1, the ring finger 2, the middle 3, the 
forefinger 4, the thumb 5, the little 6, and so on. The dates 
which happen to fall on the middle finger are unlucky, 3rd, 
8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 28th. 

1 Mishkat, n. 254. For similar rules, see Enthoven, Folklore Notes, 
Gujarat, 128 S. ; Rose, i. 239 ff. 
» Elliot-Dowson, v. 121. 



'>' Distreis,Trouhh,AffhctioriyK^ 






'"o- W Ejicellent >^ 




^0° £. n-ofitable ^ 

"V W Unlucky ^ 









W Unfytojttable ^ 

yi> L . Very Good 



,0^* E-Unpropable 'Jg. 

^<> L.. Subsistence ''St 







oO° t.Unpraptahh '"^ 

282 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxx 

Of the days of the week Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 
Friday are auspicious, tlie others unlucky. As to the quahties 
of the hours of the day and night, they have been already 
detailed in a table in the chapter dealing with the birth and 
naming of children. 

As might be expected, the rules are in many cases contra- 
dictory. The following additional examples may be given. 
Tuesday is the day least favourable for all human undertakings 
because Allah then created all unpleasant things, and accord- 
ingly this day is appointed for executions and no one will 
marry on it. Friday is ' the best day on which the Sun rises, 
the day on which Adam was taken into Paradise and turned 
out of it, and it will also be the Day of Resurrection '.'^ The 
Prophet made his first entry into Medina on that day, and he 
appointed it as the day of public worship, Yaumu-1-jum'a.^ 
On Friday the clay of Adam was collected, on that day will be 
destruction and the Resurrection, and among the last three 
hours there is a period (sd^at) in which Allah grants the requests 
of his servants. Hence it is lucky for a caravan to start on that 
day immediately after noonday prayer.^ On Saturday was 
created the earth, on Sunday the mountains, on Monday 
the trees, on Tuesday darkness, on Wednesday light, on 
Thursday animals, on Friday Adam.* Thursday evening 
is the time for offering lights at the tombs of Saints, and 
a Hindu Kunbi in the Central Provinces will not shave on 
that day.^ Shi'as believes that it is inauspicious to travel 
during the Nauroz festival, and the new moon day of the first 
Muharram after marriage is unlucky for the wedded.® 

1 Hughes, 131. * Sale, Koran, 450 f. 

3 Mishkat, i. 297. * Leedes, 237. 

° Russell, iv. 41. « Sykes, Glory of the Shia World, 131 



The term Sufi is derived from suf, ' wool ', in allusion to the 
woollen garment often, but not universally, worn by people who 
follow this rule of life. The suggestions that the term is derived 
from safd, sdf, ' clean ', or from cro^o's are now generally rejected. 
Generally speaking, the Sufis are men and women who adopt 
the ascetic or quietistic mode of life. The system is believed 
to have arisen among the Persian Musalmans in the ninth 
century as a reaction against the rigid monotheism and formal- 
ism of Islam. ^ 

The custom of initiating {talqin, baydt) of disciples {murld) 
had its origin with our ancestors, and this duty is entrusted to 
wise, reverend persons {mashdikh). When a man or woman 
wishes to become a disciple they go to the sages belonging to 
the household of the particular PIr or Saint who is recognized 
as such by family descent (silsila), or the candidate invites the 
PIr and other friends and relations to his own house, where he 
entertains them. Either before or after dinner, in the presence 
of the company, or in a closet, t'he spiritual guide {murshid), 
after doing the minor ablution (wuzu''), with his face turned 
eastward, seats the candidate before and facing him, so that 
the latter may look in the direction of the Qibla or Mecca. 
Some, however, allow him to face in any direction. Then he 
takes hold of the right hand of the candidate, so that their 
thumbs touch. In the case of a woman who is not secluded she 
holds one end of a handkerchief or sash (patkd), and the guide 
the other. But if she be a veiled woman (pardanishm),^ she 
sits behind a screen or curtain, because the PIr, though he be 

' See, with bibliographies, ERE. ii. 99 ff. ; EB. xix. 123 f. ; xxvi. 
30 f. ; Hughes, 608 f. ; Macdonald, passim. For the Panjab Sufis, 
Rose, i. 517 £E. ; in Persia, Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, 122 ff. 
On Christian influence on these beliefs, ERE. ix. 482. 

2 Among Musalmans the seclusion and veiling of women are the 
direct consequence of polygamy and the faciUty for divorce in the early 
age of Islam (Margoliouth, Mohammed, 460). But it was prescribed by 
the Prophet, though it is not justified, as usually supposed, by the 
Koran (xxxiii. 53-4). See ERE. iii. 495. 

284 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

a Murshid, is not regarded as a relation, and from where she 
sits she takes hold of the scarf as already described. The fee 
to the Murshid consists of a suit of clothes {khiVat), money, 
parched rice, sweetmeats, sandalwood, miniature flower gardens 
(chamati), and lighted pastilles. The Murshid sees that the rite 
of initiation is duly performed, that the candidate is shaved and 
bathed, that he learns the names of the. heads of the Order, 
that he promises to revere them, that he receives certain 
articles of dress, that he gets a new name, learns a new form of 
salutation, swears not to lie, steal, or commit adultery, that 
he promises to work hard as a beggar, or in some other calling, 
that he eats only things lawful, and, finally, that the initiation 
feast is duly given. 

First, the Murshid directs the candidate to repeat the 
formula of asking forgiveness from God (istighfdr), the five 
sections of the Creed (kalima), and other supplications, after 
which the candidate says to his Pir, ' Whatsoever sins I have 
intentionally or unintentionally committed I now repent, and 
I sincerely promise before my Pir, and in the presence of God 
and his Minister, never to commit them again '. Then the 
Murshid repeats the names of all the Saints of the Order 
according to the genealogy {shajara) which goes back to the 
time of the Prophet — on whom be the Peace ! — and asks ' Do 
you consent to acknowledge these Pirs ? ' Some Pirs, merely 
naming their own Murshid, ask, ' As I have accepted him, do 
you accept me as your Murshid ? ' The candidate in either 
case replies, ' I do '. When he has repeated all their names, the 
Pir lets go the hand of the candidate, takes a cup of sherbet, 
offers certain prayers over it, blows upon it, drinks two or three 
sips himself, and hands it to the candidate, who rises from 
his seat, and with profound reverence drinks all of it. Some 
Murshids also require candidates to recite two bow prayers 
{ruku') of thanksgiving {shukrlyd). After this the gifts are 
presented to the Murshid. 

The candidate having thus become a disciple (murid), 
salutes all present and they return the salutation, adding, 
' Be thou blessed ! ' Next day or the day after the Murshid 
furnishes the disciple with a list (shajara) of the Pirs of the 
Order, so that he may remember them. Some foolish people 


consider the^e lists sacred, venerate them even more than the 
Koran, make amulets out of them, hang them round their 
necks, and when they die they are placed on their corpses at 
burial. The Murshid then whispers to his disciple the mysteries 
of godliness. Disciples esteem their Murshid as one of their four 
fathers : the natural father, the preceptor, the father-in-law, 
and the Murshid. 

When a Murshid intends to initiate a Faqir, either in his own 
line (silsila) or in any other, the candidate prepares a feast 
{mela, properly 'a fair, religious assemblage '). Some forty or 
fifty Faqirs, more or less, of various Orders, with their friends 
and beggars, assemble by invitation, being summoned by a 
herald (izni). Flowers, sandalwood, sweets, hemp (gdnjd, 
bhang), dry tobacco {sukhd) for chewing, and tobacco mixed 
with treacle for smoking (gurdku) are provided. The Murshid 
causes the candidate to shave the ' four beauties of his face ' 
(dbru), his beard, moustache, eyebrows, and body hair, or instead 
of a complete shaving a few hairs from each part are removed 
with a pair of scissors. Wliile he is being shaved and his nails 
cut, the Murshid repeats sentences from the Koran or prayers 
in Arabic. Then after the candidate has been bathed, he makes 
him stand or sit before him and repeat the five clauses of the 
Creed, the two clauses of the Confession, the assertion of the 
Unity of the Godhead, the rejection of infidelity, and the 
appeal for forgiveness, as well as the other Creeds in use among 
Faqirs. Having thus given the disciple such admonition and 
advice as he deems necessary, he repeats again all the names 
of his Murshids and asks, ' Have you consented to acknow- 
ledge each and all of these ? ' The disciple answers, ' I have '. 
When he has made him repeat this three times, he places with 
his own hands a cap {tdj) on his head, or gets another to do so. 
He then ties a small cloth turban, eight or ten cubits in length, 
round it, and puts on him the dress called ' the shroud ' (kafani), 
the sleeveless shirt (alfd), the rosary (tasbih), the bead necklace 
{kanthd), the thread or hair necklace (self), a leathern belt 
{tasma), a loin-cloth (lung, langott), and a waistband [kamar- 
band)} On his foot he hangs a small circular piece of mother-of- 

* The dress thus assumed is, or is supposed to be, that of the Murshid, 
who thus confers his afflatus on his disciple, on the analogy of the dress 

286 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

pearl (dal), and hands him a stick (chhari) with a handkerchief 
(nlmal) wound round the upper end, and a wallet or cup 
{kachkol, kishtl) usually consisting of a shell of the double 
sea coco -nut (qocos de mer, loidoicea sechellarum)} He then 
gives him to drink some of the leavings (jhuthd) of his own 
sherbet. As he puts on each article of dress he repeats some 
verses of the Koran, or Arabic prayers. When he is decked out 
in his new dress, the Pir gives his disciple a new name, such as 
Bismillah Shah, 'Amru-llah Shah, Hasanu-llah Shah, Latif 
Shah, or Gulzar Shah. In all cases Faqirs assume the title of 
Shah or ' King ' to signify that they are lords of their own wills 
and that they have renounced the world. Then the assembled 
Faqirs cry out, ' He is made ! He is made ! ', and from that 
time he is known by his new name. Then the Murshid tells 
him to turn his face to the Qibla or Mecca and to make prostra- 
tion (sijda) to God. After this, instead of using the common 
salutation, ' Salamu 'alaikum ' ! ' With you be the Peace ! ' 
he addresses to his Murshid and others of the fraternity the 
words, ' Ishq Allah wa Murshid Allah ! ' ' To the Elect of God 
and Spiritual Guide to God ! ' or ' Ishq Allah, jam' Fuqara 
Allah ! ' ' To the favourites of God, to all the Faqirs of God ! ' 
To this the Murshid, instead of replying, ' Wa 'alai-kum 
Salam ! ' ' With thee be the Peace ! ' answers, ' Sadara 'ishq 
jamal Allah ! ' ' Always beloved, thou beauty of Allah ! ' 
These ceremonies practised by Faqirs are not in accordance 
with the Shar', or law, the word of God, or the traditional 
sayings of the Prophet — on whom be the Peace ! — Like many 
other irregular customs they have become established in 
Hindostan. At the end of these rites the Murshid gives the 
newly-elected Faqlr the following precepts : ' What stands do 
not touch, what lies down do not move ', that is to say, do not 
steal ; ' Let your tongue observe truth ', that is, do not lie ; 
' Keep your loin-band tight ', that is, do not commit adultery ; 
' Treasure these things in your mind. Child ! Beware ! 

of honour {khil'at), ' that which is put off ', originally the actual robes 
worn by the royal personage, who thus confers with it a portion of his 
own dignity and sanctity ; cf. Bayley, Mvhammadan Dyiuisties o/ 
Gujarat, 231. 

» For an account of this remarkable nut, see Watt, Econ. Diet. v. 
87 ff. ; Yule, Hohson-J ohaon, 229 ft', 


Exert yourself ; gain your living by begging or working, it 
matters not which ; eat only what is lawful '. Food is then 
distributed to the Faqirs, his own proper share to each. The 
leaders, the Murshid and the IQialTfa, and the resident or non- 
wandering members of the Order {makdnddr, ' householders ') 
receive a double portion as compared with that of the wander- 
ing Faqirs. Wlien all this is done the candidate becomes a real 
Faqir, and no one reproaches him for associating with them. 

It is the rule with Faqirs that, whether they do or do not say 
the prayers at the appointed times, they must say something 
on their beds and make prostration (sijda) to Almighty God. 
This, to use their phrase, is being ' friends with one's bed ' 
{bistar ke dshnaydn rahml). Wlien they have occasion to salute 
anyone they say, ' God is Great, Sir ! Be you happy ! ' ('Allah, 
Allah hai bara, Babu, khush raho ! ') or, ' May the shadow of 
'All and the Prophet be upon you ! ' (' Saya 'All o Nabi ka 
rahe '). In like manner when people of the world salute a Faqir 
they say, ' My service to you. Sir ! ' (' Bandagi hai. Shah 
Sahib ! ') or, ' I salute you. Master ! ' (' Salam hai, Shah 
Sahib ! '). By such means they show their respect for the 

Musalman Saints are supposed to form a corporation of 
a certain number always subsisting. In this corporation the 
highest is the chief (ghaiis), the four ' pegs ' (autdd), the third 
seven ' who abound in good gifts ' (akhydr), the fourth forty 
' lieutenants ' (abddl), the fifth seventy ' the excellent ' (nujabd), 
sixth, three hundred ' leaders ' {nuqabd)} 

All Faqirs originated from four spiritual guides (Chdr Plr), 
and there are fourteen households (Chaudah Khanwdda). The 
following are the details : The first Pir was Hazrat Murtaza 
'All, 'All, the Chosen, son-in-law of the Prophet. He initiated 
as his Khalifa or deputy Ivliwaja Hasan BasrI, who died 
October 11, a.d. 728.^ He constituted as his deputies Kliwaja 
Habib 'AjamI, who died on August 28, 738, and the fourth Plr, 
'Abdu-1-wahid bin Zaid Kiifi. From the third Plr have 
descended nine households : i. Habibiyan, from Khwaja 

• Lane, ME. i. 223 ; Ibn Khallikan, Hi. 98 ; Husain R. Sayani, 
The Saints of Islam ; S. Lea, Travels of Ibn Batuta, 153 ; Encyclopaedia 
Islam, i. 69. » Rose, iii. 431 f. 

288 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

Habib 'AjamI ; ii. Taifuriyan, from Bayazid BastamI, sur- 
named Taifur ; '^ iii. Karkliiyan, from Shaikh Ma'ruf Karldii ; 
iv. Junaidiyan, from Junaid Baghdad!, to which the Taba- 
qati Faqirs trace their origin ; v. Saqtiyan, from Siri Saqtl ; 
vi. Gazriiniyan, from 'Abdu-llah HaqiqT, also known as 
Hanlf Gazruni ; vii. Tartusiyan from 'Abu-1-farra Tartiisi ; 
viii. Sahrwardiyan or Suhrwardiyan, from Shaikh Ziyau-d-din 
Abu Najib Suhrawardi ; ^ ix. Firdausiyan, from Najmu-d-din 
Kubra Firdausi. From the fourth Plr have sprung five groups : 
X. Zaidiyan, from 'Abu-1-wahid bin Zaid ; xi. 'Ayaziyan, from 
Fuzail bin 'Ayaz ; xii. Adhamiyan, from Ibrahim Adham 
BalkhT ; xiii. Hubairiyan, from Ammu-d-din Hubairatu-1- 
Basrl ; xiv. Chishtiyan, from Shaikli Abu Ishaq ChishtT. From 
these have descended the Chishtl Faqirs. 

Besides these there are a few other groups among Faqirs, 
but these fourteen are the principal, from which the rest have 
branched off. The origin of most of them may be traced to 
His Holiness 'Aliu-1-Murtaza, and of one or two others to Abu 
Bakr Siddiq, and from them to His Holiness Muhammad 
Mustafa — on whom be the Peace ! ^ 

The following are some of the more important Orders of 
Faqirs in India descended from the above. 

The Qadiriya Order was instituted a.d. 1165 by Sayyid 
'Abdu-1-Qadir-al-Jllani, Pir Dastagir, whose tomb is at 
Baghdad. They practise both the silent and the audible form 
of service (zikr-i-khafi, jali), reject music and singing, wear 
green turbans, and one of their garments must be ochre - 
coloured. The recital of the blessing of the Prophet (durud) 
is a conspicuous part of their rites.* Sir R. Burton was initiated 
into the Order and gives his diploma.^ 

The Chishtl trace their origin to Abu Ishaq, ninth in succes- 
sion from 'All, son-in-law of the Prophet, settled at Chisht in 
Khurasan. One of his disciples, Kliwaja Mu'Inu-d-dln settled 
at Ajmer (a.d. 1142-1236). His successor was Qutbu-d-din 

» ERE. vi. 525 f. ; Rose, i. 538. 

^ Ain, 11. 356 ; Rose, 1. 544 ; ill. 344, 387 ; Temple, Legends of the 
Punjab, ii. 307 ; Census Report, Panjab, 1891, 1. 195. 
^ For Musalman Religious Orders, see ERE. x. 719 ff. 

• Hughes, 478 ; Ain, iii. 357 ; Mi.^hUl, 1. 37 ; ERE. 1. U f. 

* Pilgrimage, ii. 327. 


Baklatyar Kaki, buried near the Qutb Minar in Old Delhi, and 
to him succeeded Baba Farldu-d-din Shakarganj of Pakpattan. 
The Dargah at Ajmer was constantly visited by the Emperor 
Akbar.^ Members of this Order are partial to vocal music, as 
was the Kliwaja, their Pir, who in one of his religious reveries 
said that singing was the food and support of the soul. We 
should, therefore, he said, sing and listen to singing. They 
have no special dress. In repeating the Confession of Faith 
they lay peculiar stress on the words ' illa-llahu ', repeating 
these with great vigour and shaking at the same time their 
heads and the upper part of their bodies. The Order is said to 
be specially favoured by Shi'as. The congregation is worked 
up to a high pitch of devotion by their religious songs, and 
often sink down exhausted. They frequently wear coloured 
clothes, especially those dyed with ochre or acacia bark. Their 
chief shrines are the tombs of Nizamu-d-din Auliya at Delhi, 
of INlIran Bhik at Ambala, Baba Farid at Pakpattan, Hazrat 
Sulaiman at Taunsa in the Dera Ghazi Khan District, and the 
Dargah at Ajmer. They tie the cloths used to drape the 
Muharram standards to their necks, upper arms, and sticks, 
and keep a long lock (kdkul) on their heads, that is, they shave 
half their heads and let the hair grow on the other half. They 
constantly repeat the name of 'AH whom they consider equal 
to God and the Prophet.^ 

• The Shattariyas are disciples of 'Abdu-Uah Shattari, a 
descendant of Shihabu-d-din SuhrawardI, who came from 
Persia to India and died in Malwa a. d. 1406.^ Their garb is like 
that of the Qadiriya, and they with the Chishti and Qadiriya 
are known as Benawa, ' without provisions, destitute '. Those 
who have their hair shaved are called Mulhidnuma, ' those who 
do not conform to the Law ' , and are hence regarded as infidels. 
Those who do not shave their hair except over the right temple, 
from which the Murshid at the time of initiation has clipped 
a few hairs, are called Rasulnuma, ' resembling the Prophet '. 
The Madariya or Tabaqatiya are followers of the Saint Zinda 
Shah Madar. They generally wear dark clothes, and fasten to 

1 Smith, AJchar, 181. 

2 Ain, iii. 361 ; Census Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 193 f. Rose, i. 531 ff. 

3 JASB 1874, part 1, 216. 


290 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

one of their anliles a chain which they throw out and drag back 
as they beg at shops. Or they bully the shopkeeper to give 
them alms and use obscene abuse till they are bought off. Some 
keep tame tigers, bears, and monkeys, the two last being taught 
to dance and perform tricks. Some of them are jugglers, and 
make a figure of a man or animal to dance without any apparent 
mechanical means. Others place an earthen pot without a 
bottom on their heads and put fire in it, on which they lay 
a frying-pan and cook cakes. They are one of the disreputable 
Orders of begging Faqirs.^ 

The Malang or ' robust ' are usually said to be followers 
of Jamanjati, a disciple of Zinda Shah Madar, and form a 
branch of the Madariya. But the term is applied in a general 
way to any unattached religious beggar who drinks and smokes 
hemp to excess, wears nothing save a loin-cloth, and keeps fire 
always near him. They are said to wear their hair long and 
tied into a knot behind.^ In the Deccan their dress is like that 
of the Muharram Malang Faqirs. Some wear round the waist 
a chain or rope as a waist-band {kardald, kardhanl), or the 
perineal band is so narrow that it hardly covers their nakedness. 
They resemble in many ways the Hindu Gosain ascetics, 
wander through deserts and mountains, visit shrines of Saints, 
and wherever they sit down they light a fire (dhiini) and 
sometimes rub ashes on their bodies. 

The Rafa'i or Rifa'i form an Order founded at Baghdad,* 
A, D, 1180, by Ahmad ar Rifa'a, and correspond to the Howling 
Dervishes of Turkey p,nd Egypt,^ According to another account 
the founder was Ahmad Sa'Id Rifa'i, Another, and in India 
a more common, name for them is Gurzmar, because they strike 
their bodies with a sort of mace (gurz). All sorts of marvels are 
told and believed about them. They strike the points of their 
mace against their breasts and eyes, aim sword blows at their 
backs, thrust a spit through their sides or into their eyes, which 
they are said to be able to take out and replace. Or they cut out 

» BO. ix, part 2, 23, 82 f. ; Rose, i. 551 ; iii. 43 ; Crooke, Castes, 
ill. 397. 

2 Census Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 197, 

3 Macdonald, 267 f. ; Brown, Dervishes, 113 ff.; Rose, i, 588 f. ; 
Lane, 3IE. i, 305 ; ii, 93, 216. 


I A'u/u^ay AiZ Tae/oy 






ff /(Tuncknee Azi Ta-e/o' 




Jn j4m6uiii^ Musflnsi' 


their tongues, which on being put back in their mouths reunite. 
It is even said that they are able to cut off their heads, and 
fix them again on tlieir necks witli saliva, and what is equally 
strange, there is no haemorrhage, or if it does occur the per- 
former is said to be inexpert. The wound, it is said, is healed 
by the application of saliva, for when they are being initiated 
the Murshid rubs a little of his own saliva on their tongues and 
says, ' Wield the mace on yourselves without fear, and if you are 
cut apply your own spittle to the wound and it will quickly heal 
by the influence of your Pir, Ahmad Sa'Id '. Sometimes they 
sear their tongues with a red-hot iron, put a live scorpion into 
their mouths, make a chain red-hot, pour oil upon it, and when 
a sudden blaze is produced draw their hands through it. I have 
heard, says Ja'far Sharif, who gives these details, that they can 
cut a living being into two piarts and reunite them by means of 
spittle. They are also said to eat arsenic, glass, and other 
poisons. They rattle their maces in front of shops till they 
receive alms, but sometimes they throw away the money they 
receive, as it is unlawful to take money by extortion. While 
many of these accounts are exaggerated and absurd, due to 
trickery or auto-suggestion, the Gurzmar certainly inflict 
tortures on themselves. There are similar allied Orders such 
as the Rasulshahis of Gujarat known as Mastan, or ' madmen ', 
who carry a long club and beg for money to purchase drink. 
In northern India the Chhalapdar {chhalap, the cymbal on 
which they play) are said to walk on blazing charcoal.^ 

The Jalaliya take their name from that of their founder, 
Sayyid Jalal Bukliarl (a.d. 1307-74) of Uch in the Bahawalpur 
State. They wear a necklace of fine wool (pashm), or of thread 
of various colours, a neckband (guluband), and a small loin- 
cloth (lung, langoil), and carry a club (sontd). They have 
a scar on the right upper arm made by cautery with a lighted 
cloth match at initiation. They beg in bazars, and if they do 
not receive alms brand themselves with a match of this kind, 
while others gain their ends by noise and uproar. In the 
Panjab, their head-quarters, they give little heed to prayer, 
smoke quantities of hemp (bhang), eat snakes and scorpions, 
shave their heads, moustaches, and eyebrows, leaving only 

1 Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, 370 f. 
u 2 

292 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxt 

a scalp-lock (chonti) on the right side. They are branded 
with a special mark on the right shoulder, wear glass armlets, 
a woollen cord round their necks, a cloth on their heads, and are 
vagabonds with no fixed dwelling-place. One section of the 
Order is called Chihaltan, the ' forty bodies ', who are said to be 
sprung from a luckless woman who, wishing to be a mother, 
swallowed forty philtres instead of one and produced forty 

The Mijsa Sohagiya take their name from Musa Sohag, a 
Saint who lived at the close of the fifteenth century. His 
prayers for rain once saved the land from famine, and in order 
to protect himself from the crowds who followed him he used 
to wear women's clothes. His tomb is at Ahmadabad, now the 
head -quarters of the Order. His followers dress like women and 
wear a cap with bangles and other female ornaments. They 
accept alms from the KanchanI or dancing-girls and the 
Bangrlliar or bangle-makers, Wlien alms are refused they 
break their bangles and chew the fragments. They play on the 
mandoline (tanburd) and various kinds of fiddles and guitars 
(sitdr, sarangi), and dance before their Murshid in the presence 
of the Jam' Allah or Order, or perform for hire. They are good 
musicians, and say that their singing causes the rain to fall not 
of season, melts the rocks, and, as in the case of Orpheus, 
brings the wild beasts round them to listen. ^ 

The Naqshbandl are followers of Khwaja Pir Muhammad 
Naqshband, whose tomb is at Bokhara. He and his father were 
makers of brocade, hence the name Naqshband, ' pattern- 
maker '. The Order was introduced into India by Shaikli 
Ahmad SirbandT, a descendant of the Khalifa Abu Bakr. They 
worship by the silent method, sitting perfectly calm and quiet, 
and repeating the Creed under their breath, often sitting in 
meditation (jnuraqaha), quite motionless with the head bent and 
eyes closed or fixed on the ground. They forbid all singing 
and music, and are extremely strict adherents of the institutes 
and traditions of orthodox Islam.^ In the Deccan they go 

> Census Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 195 f. ; Rose, i. 552 f, ; ii. 350 ; 
Dabistan, ii. 226. 
2 BG. ix, part 2, 23. 
8 Census Report, Panjab, 1891, i. 196 ; Rose, i. 547. 


about carrying a lighted lamp, singing verses in honour of their 
Murshids, in glory to God and praises of the Prophet. In 
Sind the novice begins with the three ' works ' {shagl, shugl) of 
the Qadiriya Order. After the morning ablution and prayers he 
begins the ecstatic devotion (zikr),^ repeating the formula a 
thousand times. In the same way he repeats ' 111- Allah, Allah, 
Hu ', the total number of repetitions being four thousand, after 
each hundred saying ' Muhammadun Rasidu-Uah ' ' Muham- 
mad is Clod's Apostle '. When vain thoughts intrude on his 
mind, he says ' Ya Fa'il ', ' The True Agent ', God. After 
this comes the meditation (tasawwur), when the pupil is 
directed to think of his Pir or teacher's form, and to suppress 
his breath and suppose in his heart to express the word ' Allah '. 
In the second phase the words ' Ya Allah ' and ' Ya-hii ' 
are repeated for forty days. In the third stage he thinks of 
his Shaikh, breathing ' iVUah ' through his nose when inspiring, 
and ' Hu ' when expiring. This is repeated five hundred times 
after the morning, and a thousand times after evening prayer.^ 

The Bawa Piyare ke Faqiran wear a loin-band (tahband), 
a quilt dyed in red ochre (bhagwt), on which are sewn triangular 
or square patches of white cloth, the whole hanging to the 
feet. On their heads is a tall cap {tdj), and over it a small 
turban (phentd). They carry two sticks, and when they beg 
they cry ' Allaliu ghani ! ', ' God the self-supporting ! ', make 
supplication and ask for alms, going generally in parties of 
two or three, sometimes offering fruit and receiving a gift in 

Most Faqirs never carry with them anything save a crooked 
stick or a piece of iron {chhart, chhathi), sometimes painted, 
a wooden club {sontd), an iron prong {zafar-takyd, bairdgan) 
crooked in form, sometimes of wood, like that which Hindu 
Jogis place under their arm-pits to support them when sitting, 

' The word zikr, ' recollection ', implies ' the fixing in the mind of 
some object of thought. It is accomplished by concentrating the atten- 
tion upon the conception and its name, or upon some religious idea and 
its corresponding formula of expression. To assist in fixing the notion 
the mental effort is accompanied by vocal repetition of the name or 
formula with varying tone, pitch, and force of voice ' (ERE. x. 42 ; 
Lane, ME. ii. 151 f. ; Rose, i. 539 f.). 

2 Burton, Sindh, 214 f. 

294 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

a back-scratcher (pushtkMr), like an artificial hand, made of 
some metal with a handle, with which they scratch themselves, 
a bag of lamb skin (himacha), a wallet (kachkol, kishti), a fan 
(mirwaha, bddkash, pankhcl), a sort of puzzle consisting of a 
number of pins put through holes in a board, the pins having 
knobs at one and at the other end rings through which a long 
compressed ring is passed (gorakhdhandM). Some carry a lance 
(barchhi), a dagger worn in front (peshqabz), a dirk (katdr), 
a knife {chhurl), and a weapon formed of two antelope horns 
joined at their bases (maru). When they visit any one they 
carry some fruit or a sweet-scented flower or leaf, and offering 
it they say, ' The green leaf is the delight of the Darwesh '. 

Faqirs may be divided into two classes, Beshar', 'without the 
Law ', and Bashar', ' within the Law '. A large proportion 
belongs to the former class, and are debauchees, using intoxi- 
cants like hemp, opium, wine, or spirits, all of which they con- 
sider lawful. These do not follow the precepts of the Prophet 
as regards fasting, praying, and controlling their passions. 
But those ' within the Law ' pray, fast, and follow the rules of 
Islam. Among these are many varieties. The Salik, ' pilgrims 
on the way to salvation ' {tariqa), have wives and families, live 
by farming or trade, or by begging. The Majzub, or ' ab- 
stracted ', are supposed to lead an ascetic life. But ' some 
Saliks are termed Salik-i-majzub, and continue to observe all 
the external forms and ordinances of the Faith. Others are 
called Majzub-i-salik, as being so affected by their mystical 
affection for the Deity and Gnosticism that they are dead to 
excitement, hope, and fear. This class is, of course, rare, and 
requires a peculiar conformation of mind. The pretenders to 
it are common, as the pretence is easy and its advantages great. 
The Majzub is usually a professed debauchee and a successful 
beggar. He is a staunch free-thinker and explains away the 
necessity of all such rules as ablution, praying, fasting, and 
fighting for the Faith. He believes not in the miracles of the 
Prophet, or the doctrine of a future state. When a man of 
education arrives at this point he resembles the Hukama, 
or metaphysicians, who think nothing so unfashionable as 
belief in the Koran. The religious fanatics usually hold the 
tenet of Wahadiyat al Wujud, or the unity of existence (in kind). 

i^y/C€'OH^ca/ cyn< 


TocT-re^^ or- Ma TX^-V. 

Tbortooree . 

Su^i^ --. 



ra. <i 

h DunJui^. 


/CAuryurec J>u/r'orJ)ld7Ja . 





Pu^ i^^^wTy . 




M££riy. or Vgjia^. 



Seen^aree J)o7w> OhcoTtart-o. Afujye, 



utter Pantheism, as the very phrase denotes that God is all 
things and all things God '.^ In the Deccan the Majzub are 
' outside the Law ', and have no wives, families, or property ; 
in fact, the bazar is their home. Their dress consists solely 
of a loin-cloth and their hair is dishevelled. If any one offers 
them food they accept it and eat, if not they fast and rarely beg. 
They are so absorbed in religious reveries that they do not dis- 
tinguish between things lawful and unlawful, and pay regard 
to no sect or religion. Sometimes they speak, at other times 
remain mute. Sometimes they go about in a state of nudity,^ 
and lie down where they can, regardless of filth. Some are said 
to be such powerful miracle-workers that they can instantly 
effect what they please. Ja'far Sharif remarks that it is 
strange that though they neglect sanitation there is no offen- 
sive smell about them. They fear, he says, neither fire nor 
water, for when they please they stand on hot embers, or sit 
in a large frying-pan or a boiling cauldron for hours at a time, 
and they dive and remain under water for two or three hours. 

Another class is known as Azad, ' free, unrestricted ', who 
are also ' outside the Law '. They shave their beards, whiskers, 
moustaches, eyebrows, and eyelashes, and all the body hair, 
and live celibate lives. Whatever they receive, good or bad, 
they eat, and they have no fixed abode, generally travelling 
and living on alms. 

The Qalandar, the ' Calendar ' of the Arabian Nights, are 
not really an Order, but a class of begging monks. Some 
have wives, some not ; some are ' within ', others ' without ' 
the Law. They occupy straw huts outside, or retired spots, 
within towns where they pass their time in solitude, trusting to 
Providence, laymen providing their food and drink. The places 
where they resort are called Takya or ' pillow '. In the Pan jab 
they lead about bears and monkeys, and they are said to make 
excellent pipe bowls. They have a secret argot, and settle 
their own disputes with order and dignity. Their chief shrine 
is that of Bu 'All Qalandar at Panipat.^ 

The Rasulshahl, Rasul being the title of the Prophet, shave 

1 Burton, Sindh, 218 f. 

- This is now prevented by municipal regulations in British territory. 

3 Rose, i. 543 f., 619 f. ; iii. 257 ; BG. is, part 2, 22. 

296 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

all the face hair, wear a cap and a loin-cloth with a sheet to use 
in cold, wet, or hot weather. They drink spirits, do not marry, 
and live by begging. Those in Gujarat are dissipated, Sunnis 
' without the Law ', without settled homes.^ 

The Imamshahl shave their face hair, wear a sleeveless shirt 
(alfa), a waist-band (tahband), and a thread or hair necklace 
(sell). Their distinguishing mark is a narrow perpendicular 
line extending from the tip of the nose to the top of the 
forehead. They are celibates, living by alms and claiming 
miraculous powers. It is therefore well to court their blessing 
and avoid their curses. The HindostanI couplet runs : 

' View not with scorn the humble sons of earth. 
Beneath a clod a flower may have birth ', 
alluding to their habit of smearing themselves with ashes. 

The Nikalseni are a curious sect in the Pan jab who are said 
to worship the famous General John Nicholson, who v>ras killed 
at Delhi in 1857. He is reported to have flogged some of them 
because they worshipped him, and they are said to be in some 
way connected with the Margala Pass near Rawalpindi. They 
have disappeared from recent Census returns.^ 

Many other Orders might be described, but to understand 
Darweshes, says Ja'far Sharif, to learn about their ecstatic 
services (zikr), and how to obtain the accomplishment of one's 
wishes, are things which can be attained only by unwearied per- 
severance, by associating with holy men, and by the study of 
the Tasawwuf or Sufi mysticism. 

Spiritual guides, known as Mashaikh, Pir, or Murshid, are of 
two kinds, ancestral (jaddi) and successors (khalafdi). The 
ancestral guides are those in whose families the rights of 
initiating (baydt) of disciples have descended from their grand- 
parents on either side, or for two or three generations. The 
successors are those whose fathers and mothers belonged to 
trades differing from theirs, or were learned men among whom 
the custom was established by some Murshid of either kind. 
The dress of both classes consists of a cap (tdj), a turban 
(Hmdma), a mantle {pairdhan, qamls), a shirt {kurtd), double 
sheet (dopattd), a shawl (shdl), a double shaAvl (dosMld), a hand- 

» BG. ix, part 2, 24. ^ PNQ. ii. 181 ; Rose, ill. 199 f. 


kerchief (rumal), drawers {izdr), a waist-cloth {lung), out of 
which they select such articles as they please. Some wear round 
their necks a string of beads {tashlh) or a necklet made of hair or 
thread {sell), round their waists a strap {tasma), on their wrists 
a thread bracelet known as ' remembrance ' {sumaran), and 
they carry in their hands a stick {chhari) or other weapon used 
by Faqirs. They are ' outside the Law ' {beshar'), and have 
families. They subsist on the services, as they are called, of 
their Murids or disciples. The disciple once or oftener in the 
year visits his PIr and offers a present to him, sometimes in the 
course of conversation slipping it under the seat or bed on which 
his teacher happens to be sitting, and saying nothing. Or he 
hands it to him with an apology that he is unable to give more. 
They also receive alms or tithes {zakat) from men of substance 
{sahib-i-nisab), or kings or nobles give them a daily, monthly, 
or annual allowance in the form of a plot of rent-free land 
{jdgir) or a gift {in'-am). Some of them, besides initiating dis- 
ciples, live by fortune-telling, by making amulets or charms, 
practising medicine and pronouncing incantations or blessings. 
Sometimes every year or so they go on circuit to visit their 
disciples, and if they are offered money accept it and perform 

The procedure in appointing a deputy {khalifa) is as follows : 
The Pir seats the person to be invested with the post of a deputy 
{khilafat) before him, as in the case of initiating a disciple, and 
after reciting certain prayers he makes over to him the succes- 
sion lists {shajarandma) of the former Plrs of the Order, and the 
forms of ecstatic devotion {zikr), which have succeeded to him 
from his predecessors. Then he says, ' I have now constituted 
thee my deputy or successor, and I have given thee authority 
in such and such a group {silsila), in which thou art authorized 
to make disciples, Faqirs or deputies, as it pleaseth thee ', 
Then with his own hands he invests him with his own robe 
{jubba) and other garments, either those which he has worn 
himself or a new suit, and reads to him the list of the suc- 
cessors {shajara-i-khilafat). Plrs grant this right of succession 
for the love of God, that is to say gratis, but if their successors, 
as an act of merit, offer gifts of money or clothes, there is no 
objection to receiving them. If the successor be a wealthy 

298 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxi 

man, on the occasion of his installation he invites learned men, 
Faqirs, and friends, and has the Fatiha recited over stews 
and sweets on which he entertains them. After this he has 
the power of initiating others. Faqirs who have reached the 
dignity of Mashaikh ordinarily add at the beginning or middle 
of their names the title Shah, or ' King ', and to the end the 
designation of the Order, such as Chishtl, Tabaqati, QadirT or 
Shattari ; thus, 'Abdullah Qadir Qadiri, Hamidu-Uah Shah 
Chishti, but the terms Tabaqati or Shattari are uncommon. 

Next to the dignity of a Prophet is that of a Wali or Saint, 
for it will last till the Day of Judgement. Though prophecy 
has ceased, the office of Wali continues. In order to gain the 
rank of Wali the grace of God is indispensable. Verily, as the 
Eternal Registrar has decreed, so it must happen in this world. 
In short, there are certain acts and austerities incumbent on 
holy men which it is necessary to know and practise. It is 
forbidden to Murshids to publish these in books or to reveal 
them. Thej' are disclosed only to those Murids or disciples who 
become inquirers (tdlibu-l-Hlmi), who are members of the 
Faith of Islam, and mean to make a study of the subject. It 
must suffice at present merely to name them, and should any 
one wish to study the ' works ' (shagl, shugl) or the ecstatic 
devotion {zikr) or the ' acquirements ' (kasb), he must apply 
to learned men for a knowledge of the discipline or penances 
{riydsat), the devotional exercises (aurdd), the ' viewings ' or 
' beholdings ' {did), and the devotions (zikr). Two precepts are 
to be sp>ecially observed — ^to eat only things lawful, and to 
speak the truth. Mashaikhs and Darveshes have also enjoined 
the repression of the following five vices or noxious things 
(muzi) : the ' ears ' or the ' snake ', that is the taking of revenge 
without inquiry and consideration ; the ' kite ' or the ' eagle ', 
that is, the eye or covetousness ; the ' large black bee ', which 
dwells in the nostrils and craves for anything which smells 
sweet or savoury ; the ' dog ', whose seat is in the tongue, the 
longing for what is savoury ; and the ' scorpion ', the sensual 
appetite, which must be repressed. 

In order to derive benefit from these devotions (zikr) a man 
must be careful to do only what is good, to remove from his 
mind envy and covetousness, to keep his thoughts pure and 


undefiled, to depend on, reflect on, think of God alone, to be 
ever engaged in contemplation of Him, to retain no love for 
relations or for the world, to consider everything comprehended 
in Him, to take no delight in troubling or annoying others, to 
perform with zeal such occupations as the Murshid prescribed. 
Then the Almighty will raise him who does such things to the 
dignity of a Wall. There are also many things which must be 
said and repeated aloud, and it is easy to do this with the 
mouth. But it is most difficult to endure the hardships which 
the performance of these duties entails. 



As regards the materials of dress, the Prophet forbade the 
wearing of silk, satin, sitting on quilted red saddle-cloths, 
wearing silk and eotton mixed {mashru'', ' what is ordained by 
the Law '), but this last is now permitted, and a Musalman 
who may not wear silk in his lifetime may be shrouded in it.^ 

The fashion of dress varies throughout the eountry, particu- 
larly among converts from Hinduism to Islam. The following 
account from Gujarat may be taken as an example.^ A rich 
Musalman wears indoors a cap of velvet or embroidered cloth, 
or, if he be of simpler tastes, of plain muslin or cotton cloth. 
The upper body is covered with a short shirt (pirdhan) of fine 
muslin, and his lower limbs in trousers made of cotton, cotton 
and silk (ilachd, ' cardamom-like ') or chintz. In the cold 
season a waistcoat (kabcha) of velvet, brocade, or broadcloth is 
sometimes worn. In the house his feet are bare, but in the 
cold season well-to-do people put on socks. When he goes 
out the rich man changes his cap for a turban or scarf {dopaltu) 
wound loosely on the head, and over his shirt he draws a coat 
(angarkha), tight round the chest and rather full in the skirts, 
whicli hang to the knee, it being usually made of muslin, 
embroidered broadcloth, or velvet. Sometimes, if he affects 
the Hindostani or north Indian fashion of dress, he puts on 
light red leather or green shagreen shoes which come from 
Delhi. The ceremonial dress differs from the ordinary dress 
only in being richer, the turban of gold cloth, the coat richly 
embroidered on the shoulders and breast, the shoulder scarf 
bordered with silk, and the trousers made of brocade or Chinese 
silk eotton. Fashions, too, vary under the influence of large 
cities like Delhi, Lueknow, or Hyderabad. Fashions, again, 

' Miahkat, i. 340 ; Burton, AN. ix. 21 ; A YuHuf Ali, Monograph on 
Silk, 121 f. ^ BO. ix, part 2, 100 ff. 



C?u>juidi77ve . 



rig z. 




Fu^esee . 











FosUiorts m Prober. 

A M^ 





(/^hifwi^^ ( Lic2^: Sas^J-Ln^ } 


are rapidly changing, and there is a tendency among younger 
men to abandon the graceful flowing draperies of a former 
generation, and to replace the older dress by trousers of 
European cut, an imitation of the European frock coat, or 
a woollen coat buttoned to the neck, to wear patent leather 
shoes, and instead of the cap or turban to wear the Turkish or 
Egyptian dark red fez. 

The dress of the middle-class Musalman is like that of the 
higher class, but the materials are less costly. The poor man 
wears drawers of coarse cotton cloth, a coloured turban, a 
coat of cheap broadcloth and thick-soled shoes. He keeps 
a suit of a better kind for important occasions. Among the 
peasantry of northern India it is sometimes difficult to dis- 
tinguish the Musalman peasant or labourer from a Hindu merely 
by his dress, except that the jacket of the Hindu is fastened to 
the right, that of the Musalman on the left, a distinction which 
in Central Asia marks off the Musalman from the Buddhist .'^ 
The enormous drawers are characteristic of the Panjabi and 
Afghan, one set worn by a chief being six yards across.^ 

A rich woman wears a scarf or head-shawl (orhni), a bodice 
(angiya), a gown (peshwdz, ' open in front '), and trousers (izdr). 
The closely fitting drawers or trousers made of chintz or 
coloured cloth worn by the lower-class Musalman women in 
northern India are perhaps the most unbecoming dress in the 
country. The rich woman's skirt is of red or light tints for 
maidens and married women, of dark blue, bronze colour, or 
white for old ladies, and bronze and black for widows. The 
trousers are usually made of some kind of chintz or coloured 
cloth, and they are rather tighter than those worn by men. 
Though rich women are not in the habit of often leaving the 
house, they are careful to wear shoes or slippers. Except 
that it is of costlier materials, the ceremonial dress does not 
differ much from that worn at ordinary times. In Gujarat, 
except among the more advanced classes, European fashions 
have not made much way. But the half-Turkish, half- 
European chemise is in favour as well as other Persian, Turkish, 
or Arabian models, and the use of English shoes and stockings 

' Ratzel, History of Mankind, iii. 326. 
^ Crooke, Things Indian, 163. 

302 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxii 

is extending,^ But the fashions both of male and female dress 
are so varied in different parts that space does not allow of 
a catalogue of fashions and materials.^ 

The wearing of new clothes is a serious matter. If a man has 
his measure taken for new clothes on Sunday he will suffer 
trouble ; on Monday, he will have ample food ; on Tuesday, his 
clothes will be burnt ; on Wednesday, he will enjoy happiness 
and tranquillity ; on Thursday, the wearing of them will be 
propitious ; on Friday, it will be well ; on Saturday, he will 
suffer many misfortunes. If he puts on new clothes on Sunday 
he will enjoy happiness and ease ; on Monday, his clothes will 
be torn ; on Tuesday, even if he stands in water, his clothes 
will be burnt ; on Wednesday, he will easily obtain a new suit ; 
on Thursday, he will appear neatly dressed ; on Friday, as 
long as the suit is new he will be happy ; on Saturday, he will 
fall ill. If he puts on new clothes in the morning he will be 
wealthy and fortunate ; at noon, he will look elegant ; at sunset, 
he will be wretched ; in the evening, he will fall ill. Akbar 
ordered that all clothes received in the Imperial wardrobe in 
Farwardin, the first month of the Persian year, provided they 
were of good quality, should have higher rank assigned to them 
than those arriving at other times. ^ It may be noted that the 
shoe of the right foot should be put on and taken off before that 
of the left. 

The shape of the turban is infinitely varied. A man's 
drawers should not reach below the ankle joint, and the coat 
(jama) should be a little above the bottom of the drawers. The 
turban (pagrf) should be tied, and the ends (shamla) left waving 
behind. Some, however, let them dangle on the right and left 
sides of the head. Red is the colour of the infidel, perhaps 
from its association with blood sacrifice, and should not be 
worn by men, though it is permitted to women. The wearing 
of red by a king was a sign of wrath.* The screens surrounding 
the encampment of the Mughal Emperors were of scarlet, and 

* BG. ix, part 2, 101 ; Edwardes, Gazetteer, Bombay City, i. 256 f. 

^ See Watson, Textile Manujactures ; M. F. Billington, Woman in 
India ; EB. xiv. 417 ; Industrial Monographs on Textiles, published by 
the Governments of the Panjab and United Provinces. 

3 Am, i, 91. « Burton, AN. iii. 197 ; v. 156. 


a scarlet umbrella was carried over the Musalmaii Kings of the 
Deccan.i Bahadur Shah, King of Gujarat, was in wrath, but 
when his fury was abated by a song of a minstrel he put off his 
red dress and donned one of green. ^ The family of 'Abbas 
wore black in opposition to the Ummayads, whose family colour 
was green. The green worn by Sayyids, who hence are some- 
times called Sabzposh, ' wearers of green ', was borrowed from 
the old Nabatheans.^ 

According to the Traditions all the hair should be allowed to 
grow, or the whole head should be shaved. The retention of the 
scalp-lock (shusha, choti, chonti) is sometimes explained on the 
ground that it furnishes a handle to draw the wearer into 
Paradise, and it is said to prevent the pollution of the mouth 
of a decapitated Musalman from an impure hand, but it seems 
to have been used as a protection for the head adopted by the 
Arabs of the desert.* The growing of the sidelocks {zulf) is 
regarded by some as a vain innovation (bid'at) and unseemly 
(makruh), that is, neither lawful nor unlawful. When boys 
are first shaved, a tuft is often left on the crown and forehead, 
but this is not the fashion among adults. Some of the frontier 
tribes wear the hair in ringlets on each side of the head, but this 
is not the rule among Indian Musalmans. Women generally 
wear the hair in a long plait hanging behind or twisted into a 

The Sunnat or practice of the Prophet was to wear the 
beard not longer than one hand and two fingers' breadth, and 
that the moustaches should be either cropped or shaven close. 
In the Hadls or Traditions it is laid down that if a man does 
not preserve his beard, he will rise on the Day of Judgement 
with a black face like that of a hog ; and that if he grows his 
moustache to such a length that he wets them in the act of 
drinking water, the water of the Hauzu-1-kausar, or Fountain 
of Paradise,^ will be denied to him, and the hairs at the Last Day 
will become like so many spits, so that when he tries to make 
the prostration {sijda) they will prevent him from bowing, and 
if notwithstanding he bends his head his forehead will not reach 

1 Ferishta, iii. 198. ^ Bay ley, Muhammadan Dynasties, 389. 

3 Burton, AN. ix. 113. « Ibid. i. 284 ; Pilgrimage, i. 163. 

5 Sale, Koran, Preliminary Discourse, 68. 

304 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxii 

the ground. The beard {rish, ddrhi) is the sign of manhood, and 
hence highly respected, so that to seize a man by his beard or 
to pull a hair from it is considered a deadly insult. But a tale 
is told of Muhammad Shah Fariiql, King of Gujarat, that he 
spared the life of a child and provided for him because his hand 
accidentally touched the beard of the Sultan.^ A popular 
saying is ' Darhl Khuda ka nur ', ' The beard is the light of 
God '. The order of the Prophet was, ' Do the opposite 
to the polytheists and let your beards grow long '.^ 

In order to avoid pollution it is well to pare the hair over the 
lips. In Egypt it is the custom to shave portions of the hair 
above and below the lower jaw, leaving, according to the 
example of the Prophet, the hairs that grow in the middle below 
the mouth. Or instead of shaving those parts they pull out the 
hair. Very few shave the rest of the beard and none the 
moustache. The former they suffer to grow to the length of 
about a hand's breadth below the chin, and, in imitation of 
the Prophet, they do not allow the moustache to become so 
long as to hide completely the skin under it, or to extend in 
the least over the upper lip and thus incommode them in eating 
and drinking.^ Some of the Indian frontier tribes, like the 
Bangash Pathans, shave the head and eradicate most of the 
hair on the chin and cheeks, leaving little but the ends of the 
moustache, and the local Mullas consider the wearing of a fringe 
to be improper.* A pilgrim told Akbar that the Prophet, seeing 
a man with his beard cut off, said that he resembled the in- 
mates of Paradise, and probably in imitation of Hindu practice, 
which the Emperor favoured, it was ordered that beards were 
to be shaven, but this innovation was soon withdrawn.^ To 
remove the hair from under the arm-pits and below the navel, 
to circumcise and to pare the nails are five things enjoined by 
Ibrahim or Abraham — May God reward him ! — but which 
the Prophet has not ordained. In Sind Musalmans usually 
shave their heads for the sake of cleanliness and coolness. 
But the Baloch let their hair grow long, and those in the hills 
wear it falling over their shoulders like the Pathans and other 

* Bayley, Muhummadan Dynasties, 403. ^ Hughes, 40. 

3 Lane, ME. i. 34 f. . * Rose, ii. 59. 

« lin, i. 189 207, 208 ; Smith, Akbar, 257 ; EUiot-Dowson, v. 536. 


hill tribes around them. No Musalman ought to cut his beard, 
but many Pathans grow a military moustache and shave their 
chins, while the Khwajas have generally retained their Hindu 
customs in this 'matter.^ For shaving the best days are Monday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the other days of the week 
being considered inauspicious. 

The habit of dyeing the beard is common. In Arabia it is 
dyed with henna, gall-nuts, and other preparations, especially 
sulphate of iron one part, ammoniate of iron one part, gall-nuts 
infused in eight parts of pure water, but this process is not 
permanent. In northern India the hair dye {khizab, ivasma) is 
made of oxide of iron (lohchan) -| ounce, salt 6 grains, wheat 
flour ^ ounce, mixed with 2 ounces of water, boiled and stirred 
till the mixture becomes like a paint. When cool it is applied to 
the beard, and this is bound up Avith castor-oil leaves in a cloth. 
After an hour it is washed off with an infusion of emblic myro- 
balan (donld). Another method prescribes gall-nuts, sulphate 
of copper and salammoniac, or henna and indigo leaves are 
ground up in water and applied to the hair for half an hour.^ 

Village women converted from Hinduism sometimes follow 
the Hindu practice of using vermilion to mark the parting of 
the hair as a mark of coverture, but this practice is forbidden 
by the orthodox. In the Central Provinces and Bombay a 
powder {kunku) made of turmeric, borax, and lime-juice is 
substituted, this having the advantage of not injuring the hair 
or skin.^ Musalman women usually remove all body hair, 
except that of the head and eyebrows. Some use for this 
purpose quicklime or a depilatory {nurd) consisting of yellow 
arsenic one ounce, pounded and mixed with quicklime till 
the compound assumes a yellowish tinge. It is applied to the 
skin in a paste made with hot water, and it must be washed off 
after a minute or two, as it burns, as well as stains. This 
admirable invention is ascribed to the learned Sulaiman or 

1 Aitken, Gazetteer of Sind, 196 f. ; Census Report, Baluchistan, 1901, 
i. 40. The cutting or shaving of a woman's hair is equivalent to a curse 
against the life of her husband, or the implication that she is a slave, 
the phrase ' tress-shorn ' {chotikat) meaning a slave. 

^ Saiyid Muhammad Hadi, Monograph on Dyes and Dyeing in the 
North-west Provinces and Oudh, 70 f. 

3 Russell, ii. 44 ; iv. 109, 


306 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxti 

Solomon, who could not endure the sight of the hairy legs of 
Bilqis, queen of Sheba.^ Some remove the body hair with a 
pledget of fir gum {lub&n shdmi). 

Certain days are prescribed for bathing. If a person bathes 
on a Sunday he will suffer affliction ; on Monday, his goods will 
be increased ; on Tuesday, he will suffer from anxiety of mind ; 
on Wednesday, his property will increase ; on Thursday, his 
property will increase ; on Friday, all his sins will be forgiven ; 
and on Saturday, all his ailments will be removed. 

The teeth are cleaned with a twig {ddntan, miswdk), tooth- 
brushes which may be made from the hair of the hog being 
forbidden.^ The trees commonly used for this purpose are the 
Nim (melia azadirachta) in north India, and the PIlu {salvadora 
persica) in the south. Others used for this purpose are the 
Agara {acquillaria agallocha), Kale madh ka jhar {phyllmithus 
multiflorus), Khajur (phoenix dactilifera), and the Maulsirl, 
Baulsiri, Bakal or Bakul {mimusops elengi). The twig is about 
a span long, split at one end and chewed to make it softer, the 
end not used being held between the ring and middle finger with 
the thumb pressing against the other extremity. Dentifrice 
(manjan) is often made of burnt almond shells, or of the residue 
tobacco of the pipe (gul), mixed with black pepper and salt. 
But common people often merely use charcoal, which is made 
by burning the wood of the Chebulic myrobalan (harra, 
terminalia chebula) or betel-nut (supari, supyarl, areca catechu) 
into cinders and pounding it fine. MissI {mis, ' copper '), 
a powder composed of yellow myrobalan, gall-nut, iron filings, 
and vitriol, much used in India to strengthen the teeth and 
reduce their whiteness, is seldom applied by modest women 
in Sind.^ But Indian Musalman women plead that it is lawful 
because Fatima, daughter of the Prophet, used it. The follow- 
ing is the best prescription : gall-nut (mdphal, mdjUphal, 
quercus infectoria) 2 oz. ; bluestone, blue vitriol {nlld tutiyd) 
2 drachms ; steel filings (in the Deccan, Mr) 1 oz. ; chebulic 
or black myrobalan {hardd, harra, harld, terminalia chebula) 
■^ oz. ; acacia flowers {kikar kiphali, acacia arabica) \ oz. ; some 

1 Burton, Sind Revisited, 278 ; AN. ii. 62 ; Lane, ME. i. 51 ; Koran, 
xxvii. 44, with Sale's note. 
= Mishkat, i. 88 ff. ^ Burton, Sindh, 266. 


lime juice. Pound and sift the vitriol, mix it with the steel 
filings, add the lime juice, and put the compound into the sun 
to dry, that is, until the mixture turns black, which will be in 
about two hours ; then pound this as well as the other ingre- 
dients, sift and keep for use. 

The eyes are painted with Surma and Kajal. Surma, Ismid, 
Kohl, Kuhl, is properly antimony, but much of the so-called 
antimony sold in the Indian bazars is really galena, imported 
from Kabul and Bokhara. It has been used from time im- 
memorial in India and other parts of the East.^ It is applied 
with a probe (mikhal) in a very fine powder to the eye, or on 
the inside of the eyelids, to improve the brightness of the eyes 
not, as commonly supposed, on the eyelashes or outside lid?, 
for which Kajal is used. It is said to give the eye the shape of 
an almond (bdddm chashm).'^ It is the eye-paint of Scripture,^ 
and it is said to be a great preservative of sight in the glare of 
the desert and checlis ophtJialmia. A legend tells that when 
(Jod commanded Moses to ascend the Koh-at-Tur (Mount 
Sinai) to show him His countenance, he exliibited it through an 
opening the size of a needle's eye, at the sight of which Moses 
fell into a trance, and on waking saw the mountain on fire. 
The mountain thus addressed the Almighty, ' Why hast thou 
set me on fire, who am the least among mountains ? ' Then the 
Lord commanded Moses, ' Henceforth thou and thy posterity 
shall grind the earth of this mountain and apply it to your 
eyes '. Hence Surma is supposed to be the miraculous sub- 
stance thus created. The tale current in the Panjab is that 
a Faqlr from Kashmir came to Movmt Karangli in the Jhllam 
District and turned it into gold. The people fearing that in 
time of war it would be plundered, by means of a spell turned 
the gold into antimony, which is now washed down by the rain 
from the mountain. It is said that if it is used for eight days 
it will restore the sight of those who have become blind by 
disease or by accident, but not of those born blind.* It was 
recommended by the Prophet to strengthen the sight and to 

1 Rajendralala Mitra, The Indo-Aryans, ii. 146. 

'^ Sir A. Burnes, Cahool, 95. 

3 2 Kings ix. 30 ; Jer. iv. 30 ; Ezek. xxiii. 40 ; Burton, A'N. i. 54. 

" PNQ. iv. 9. 


308 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxii 

make the eyelashes grow.^ Kajal, or lampblack, is collected on 
an earthen plate held over an oil lamp and kept in a box 
(kajlautl). It is applied to the outer lids and eyelashes of 
women and children as a protection against sun glare and to 
ward off the Evil Eye. For this latter purpose it is applied to 
the eyes of a bridegroom by his brother's wife as he starts to 
fetch his bride. 

Henna (menhdi) is a preparation of the leaves of Lawsonia 
alba, cultivated throughout India for this purpose and also 
found as a hedge plant. Its effects on the skin are those 
of an astringent or dye, and it improves the hair. The dry leaves 
are pounded in water or rice gruel ten or twelve hours before 
use, and then it should be exposed to the sun or to gentle heat. 
It is applied to the roots of the hair with a brush, after the hair 
has been cleaned with soap or pearl ash. In five or six hours 
a deep brick-dust hue is produced, which is converted by the 
use of a paste of indigo into a bottle-green, and finally into 
a jetty, lustrous, crow's wing colour. Women often tinge with 
it only the tips of their fingers and the toe nails, while others 
make a stripe across the knuckles. The shade varies from 
light orange to deep scarlet, and to olive when long applied. 
It is extensively used in the marriage rites. The use of it 
by women is not mere caprice, as it checks perspiration in the 
hands and feet, and produces an agreeable and healthful 

Safflower {kusum, carthamus tinctorius) produces a beautiful 
red dye which is prepared as follows. Take of the dried flowers 
2 lb., put them in a towel suspended by its four corners on 
sticks fixed in the ground, pour cold water on them and rub 
the flowers in it as long as the stained water remains yellov/. 
When it begins to get red, squeeze the water out of the flowers 
and spread them out. After sprinkling them with 2 oz. 
barifla (sajjikhar), mix them well together. Put the flowers 
again on the suspended cloth, and pour on them three jars of 
cold water, keeping the strained liquid from each jar separate. 

» Mishkat, i. 371 ; ii. 364. 

2 Burton, Sind Revisited, i. 324 ; Mishkat, ii. 363. The ' camphire ' 
of the Song of Solomon, i. 14 ; iv. 13 A.V. is rightly translated ' henna ' 
in R.V. 


Add to these the juice of 20 or 25 lemons, which will change the 
liquid into a beautiful colour. In dyeing cloth it is first soaked 
in the liquor of the faintest colour, then in that which is darker, 
and lastly in the darkest, leaving it in each only a few seconds 
or minutes. The colour is fugitive, and so far no method has 
been discovered to make it permanent.^ Safflower has a 
mystic significance, and cloths of this shade are used at 
marriages and in various magical rites. 

Various kinds of perfumed powders are in common use. 
' The perfumes for men shall have smell, but not colour ; the 
things that women rub on must have colour but not smell '.^ 
Chiksa is a perfumed powder composed of a variety of odori- 
ferous substances. Take of mustard seed, aloe seed, cotton 
seed, 8 oz, of each ; wheat or gram flour, 8 oz. ; fenugreek seed, 
8 oz. ; turmeric coloured zedoary, 4 oz. ; rush-leaved cyperus, 
1^ oz. ; poppy seed, sandalwood, leaves of sandal, of each 
6 drachms, and various other aromatic substances. The 
fenugreek seed is toasted and mixed with the other ingredients. 
In using this powder it is generally mixed with sweet-scented 
oil (phulel) instead of water. Poorer people use much fewer 
ingredients in preparing it. 

Abu-1-fazl mentions three varieties of sandalwood {sandal, 
chandan, santaluni album) : white, yellow, and red. The best 
is the Macassar (magasari), v/hich is yellow and oily.^ The 
references throughout this work are not to the sandalwood 
itself but to a perfumed embrocation made by rubbing a piece 
of the wood on a stone {sandaldsa, sandlasd). There are 
special rules for applying it. This is done with the right hand, 
and invariably to the right side of the neck first, drawing the 
fingers held apart from behind forwards, so as to leave four 
distinct streaks. Then the same is done to the left side, and 
afterwards the abdomen is merely touched with the fore- 
finger dipped in the paste, meaning, ' May your offspring enjoy 
good health ! ' Lastly, the back is touched in the same way, 
meaning, ' May all your relations continue well ! ' Its use for 

1 Saiyid Muhammad Hadi, Monograph on Dyes and Dyeing in the 
North-west Provinces and Oudh, 9 fE. 

2 Mishkat, ii. 361. 

" Ain, i. 80 ; Watt, Comm. Prod. 72 ff. 

310 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxii 

ceremonial purposes is much more common in southern than 
in northern India. 

Agar, agara, calambac, aloe or eagle wood is the aloes or 
lignum aloes (aquillaria agallocha) of the Scriptures. Wlien 
thrown into fire it smokes and gives a pleasant perfume. 
It is prepared in pastilles, which are sometimes confounded 
with those made of benzoin or styrax. They are composed of 
aloe wood, sandalwood, benzoin, patchouli, liquidambar, 
storax, yew leaves, mastic, with sugar-candy or gum. These 
are pounded fine, mixed up with rose-water and made into 
pastilles. The best come from Bijapur in the Deccan. 

Argaja is a yellowish coloured perfume, of which the common 
variety is a mixture of sandalwood, wood aloes, and some 
odoriferous oil. The following is good receipt : Grind sandal- 
wood and wood aloes with rose-water, add oil of aloes wood, 
civet, of each 2 mashas or 34 grains ; Htr or otto of roses, 
jasmine oil, of each J rupee weight ; mix all together and rub 
the perfume over the body. 

Otto, or Htr of roses, is said to have been invented by the 
mother of the Empress Nurjahan on her marriage with Jahan- 
glr.^ In India it is chiefly produced by the distillation of 
Rosa damascena. It is made by allowing the distilled rose- 
water (guldb) to rest for the night, the thin film of otto being 
skimmed off in the morning. It is offered to guests on a little 
cotton, twisted on the end of a short stick. At entertainments 
rose-water is served in a long-necked silver bottle (guldbpdsh), 
perforated with holes at the top like a muffineer, out of which 
it is sprinkled over the guests.'^ 

Ablr is a grateful perfumed powder, the simplest and most 
common variety of which is made of rice flour or powdered 
mango or deodar cy perns mixed with camphor and aniseed. 
A superior variety is made of powdered sandalwood, zedoary, 
rose flowers, camphor, and civet, all pounded, sifted, and mixed. 
The dry powder is rubbed on the face and body and sprinlded 
on clothes to scent them. A powder of the same name, used by 
Hindus to fling about at the Holi festival, was formerly made 
of the rhizome of Curcuma zedoaria, powdered, purified, dried, 
and mixed with a decoction of sappan wood. A similar powder 

1 EUiot-Dowson, vi. 338. ^ Watt, Econ. Diet., vi, part 1, 561. 


was found in a casket recovered from a Buddhist Stupa at 
Sopara.^ The flowers are laid in eight or ten layers, each 
separated by a layer of sesamum seed, which after being left all 
night is then put out to dry. This process is repeated for ten 
days when the scented sesamum is put in bags or jars and 
finally ground in a press {kolhu), from which the oil drops into 
a vessel. It is finally stored in leather bottles. That used by 
Hindus at the Holl is usually made of barley, rice flour or 
that of the SingMra nut {traba bispinosa), mixed with a red dye. 

The term Ispand or Sipand is incorrectly applied in southern 
India to the seeds of henna (menhdl, Lawsonia alba). It is 
properly Peganum harmala, the seeds of which are often burnt 
near the sick with the object of repelling evil spirits and the 
Evil Eye. It has been suggested that this action may exercise 
some useful effect as an antiseptic.^ It is presumably from its 
connexion with spirits that in northern India Hindus of high 
caste will not touch it, and leave it to the sweepers. Akbar used 
to keep an official called Sipandsoz to protect his horses from 
spirits, and seeds of Indian colza {sarson, sinapis glauca) were 
used in the same way.^ It is also burnt during the forty days 
after parturition, particularly at the door of the house whenever 
a visitor departs, as well as when the infant is taken out of the 
room to be bathed and when it is brought back. It is generally 
thrown into the fire with some benzoin or benjamin, or with 
mustard seed and patchouli. The use of incense is unknown 
in Musalman religious worship, but it is permissible to fumigate 
the corpse, to burn it at the tombs of Saints and in certain rites 
of exorcism and magic. The best kind is frankincense, derived 
from varieties of the Boswellia, but cheaper substitutes are also 
used. Foul-smelling substances, like leather, are burnt to 
repel evil spirits. 

Wlienever the use of flowers is mentioned in these pages the 
reference is generally to garlands, nosegays, and the like, not to 
single flowers. The forms in which they are used are carefully 
distinguished : BaddhI, a long flower chain or garland worn by 
bride and bridegroom round the neck, hanging to the waist and 
crossing behind and before ; Gajra, a flower bracelet shaped like 

» BG. xiv. 411 f. « Watt, Econ. Did., vi, part 1, 126, 135. 

» Ain, i. 139. 

312 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxii 

a carrot (gdjar) ; Gend gahvara, flowers formed like the scale 
of a balance, and offered in discharge of a voav ; Har, a string 
of flowers worn as a necklace and hanging down the breast ; 
Jallmuiband, flowers forming a sort of network veil tied to the 
forehead and covering the front part of the head, worn only 
by women ; Pakhar, ' iron armour such as that worn by men 
and horses ', an ornament of flowers intended to represent 
armour, thrown over the head and body of a horse ; Phul ka 
chadar, flowers arranged in the form of a sheet, spread on 
graves ; Sarpech, sarposh, a string of flowers worn round the 
head by women ; Sehra, sehara, an arrangement of flowers 
tied on the forehead, covering the eyes like a veil, worn by 
bride and bridegroom to protect them from the Evil Eye ; 
Turra, a nosegay or bouquet, sometimes used as a flower 
ornament for the hair. 



The jewellery worn by Musalmans presents great differences 
of type and fashion, but there is little that is really distinctive, 
both men and women often wearing patterns closely resembling 
those of the Hindus, this being particularly the case among the 
many converts from Hinduism to Islam, though, of course, the 
use of symbols or figures of Hindu deities are avoided. Musal- 
mans as compared with Hindus do not invest so much of their 
savings in jewellery to be sold in times of need. In some parts 
of the country there is a prejudice against wearing gold on the 
feet. Some classes forbid their women to wear anything save 
gold above the feet, but silver may be used in the form of 
anklets or toe-rings, and if this is not procurable some cheaper 
substance like pewter or bell-metal is used.^ In the time 
of the Prophet, when the type of daily life was simpler, the 
wearing of gold rings was prohibited.^ Among Musalmans, as 
among Hindus, the primary intention in wearing jewellery is 
not for ornament, but to secure protection against the Evil 
Eye and the attacks of spirits. Hence comes the use of things 
supposed to possess spirit power, such as the wood or leaves of 
certain trees and plants, the hair or claws of tigers or parts of 
other animals.'' Men, as a rule, wear little jewellery except as 
amulets, but among the rich trading classes in western India, 
like the Bohras or Memans, the wearing of necklaces, wristlets, 
ear-rings, bangles, finger rings, collarettes, or gold chains is 

According to a Rabbinical legend adopted by Islam, Sarah, 

'■ Census Report, Central India, 1901, i. 208. 

- Mishkat, ii. 348, 353. According to Ferishta (iii. 244), Husain 
Nizam Shah, King of Ahmadnagar (a.d. 1553-65), on one occasion, 
"after prayers, observing that he was wearing a girdle of gold, recollected 
that it was unlawful to pray while wearing it, cast it off and repeated 
his prayers. 

=• BO. xviii, part 1, 106, 547 ff. 

314 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxin 

when she was jealous of Hagar, declared that she could not rest 
till her hands were stained with the blood of her rival. So 
Abraham pierced Hagar's ears and Sarah was thus able to 
stain her hands with the blood. Hence came the use of ear- 
rings. Musalman women usually wear these rings fixed all 
along the outer border of the ear, often four to eleven in each, 
the left having invariably one less than the right. The Tradi- 
tions declare, ' Whoever likes to put into the nose or ear of 
his friend a ring of hell fire, let it be a gold ring ; wherefore be 
it on you to make your ornaments of silver '.^ But this law 
is now generally ignored, and many Musalman women wear 
a gold nose ring {nath) in the left nostril, and another (buldq) in 
the central cartilage. Many women wear round their necks, 
strung with black thread, silver cases containing a verse from 
the Koran, some charm, or some animal or vegetable sub- 
stance. ' VerUy spells and tying round the necks of children the 
nails of tearing animals, and the thread which is tied round 
a woman's neck to make her husband love her, all these are of 
the polytheists '.^ Among Musalman women in southern India 
the ear is often dilated widely by the use of pegs or pledgets of 
cloth, each of a size larger than the last. Among Hindus and 
some Musalmans in the Central Provinces, if the flesh of the ear 
thus dilated happens to be torn by accident or in a scuffle, the 
woman is regarded as defiled and has to undergo special 
purification. In north India young children, otherwise naked, 
wear some protective hvmg from the waist to repel the Evil Eye. 
In the south little girls wear a ' fig-leaf ' of silver with the same 
object, while little boys wear a conical, elongated object, both 
amulets having a phallic significance.^ 

' Mishkat, ii. 355. ^ Ibid. ii. 376, 377. 

3 JRAI. xxxviii. 194 ; Thurston, Castes, vi, 113. On Musalman 
jewellery, see Sir E. Maclagan, Mo7iograph on Gold and Silver work in 
the Punjab ; T. C. Hendley, Journal oj Indian Art, 1906-7 ; B. H. 
Baden-Powell, Handbook oj the Manufactures and Arts o/ the Punjab, 
175 ff. ; T. N. Mukarji, Art Manufactures of India, 97 ff. 



MusALMANS submit to few of the vexatious restrictions 
which the rules of caste impose upon Hindus, but their 
association with this people suggests taboos in the use of certain 
foods, some of which are of foreign origin and come down from 
the early days of Islam. According to the Kansu-l-daqdiq and 
the Shar^ -i-waqidt, the flesh of certain animals is unlawful, 
that of others prohibited. The flesh of those that are cloven- 
footed, those that chew the cud, and are not beasts of prey, 
is lawful food, such as that of sheep and goats, deer, antelopes, 
the hare, the rabbit, the cow, bull, female and male buffalo, 
&c. Those that are neither cloven-footed nor chew the cud, 
like the jackass, &c., are unlawful. Others which though 
cloven-footed do not chew the cud, or those which have merely 
canine teeth, are unlawful, such as the hog, wolf, jackal, tiger, 
bear, hyaena, and the like. ' That which dieth of itself, and 
blood and swine's flesh, and that over which any other name 
than that of God hath been invoked, is forbidden to you. But 
he that shall partake of them by constraint, without lust or 
wilfulness, no sin shall be upon him. Verily God is Indulgent, 
Merciful '.^ Although the Imam ' Azam, Abii Hanlfa of 
Kiifa, has pronounced horseflesh unlawful, his disciples con- 
tradict this, and, therefore, some considering it improper 
(makruh), that is to say, things from which the Prophet ab- 
stained yet did not forbid to others, eat of it. But most 
people regard it as unlawful food. Of birds, all those that catch 
prey with their claws or tear it with their teeth, are unlawful, 
such as the sparrow-hawk {shikra, micronisus badius), the 
peregrine falcon {bahrl, falco peregrinus), and the goshawk 
{baz, astur palumbarius), the kite, crow, vulture, bat, kingcrow, 

' Koran, ii. 167. 

316 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxiv 

owl, and others of a like kind. Such as do not seize their prey 
with their talons, but pick up food with their bills are lawful, 
such as the paddy-bird {baguld, bagld, ardea torra), duck, 
peacock, partridge, quail, goose, snipe, dove, pigeon, and the 
like. Locusts may be eaten, but all creeping things, like 
scorpions, snakes, earthworms, and so on, are unlawful. Those 
that live in water are all unlawful except those with scales 
and the eel (b&m), the lamprey (tanbu), the Katarna, a little- 
valued fish, which are improper but not prohibited, and those 
that do not weigh less than a Dirham or drachm or more than 
1^ Man, 120 lb. Others which do not answer these con- 
ditions are unlawful, such as alligators, turtles, frogs, crabs, 
and the like. Shrimps, however, are only prohibited (makruh) 
and may be eaten. Fish found dead in water are unlawful food, 
but if they be taken out and die afterwards, this is held to be 
equivalent to ritual slaughter (zabh). 

The use of wine or spirits (shardb),^ hemp {gdnjd, bhang), 
fermented palm juice {tdri), opium {afim, afyUn), preparations 
of opium {madad, madah, madat), opium extract (kusumbhd) 
and the electuary {ma''jun), with other intoxicating liquors, are 
forbidden. Under the general head of intoxicants {khamr) 
alcohol and narcotics are generally included. If, however, pro- 
hibited substances, like hog's lard, are prescribed by a physician, 
when in his opinion they are needed to save the life of the 
patient it is lawful to use them, but not otherwise. Water 
should not be drunk while standing, except in three cases : the 
water of the holy well Zamzam, water and other drinks dis- 
tributed on the road to those engaged in processions (sabil), 
and water used for the lesser ablution {wuzii''). 

Among the more learned and enlightened Musalmans it is 
now generally admitted that there are no grounds for their 
refusal to eat with the ' people of the Book ' (ahl-i-kitdb), that 
is to say, with Jews and Christians. This feeling which prevails 
among the less advanced Indian Musalmans is mainly due to 
race jealousy, and restrictions borrowed from the Hindus, 
and in some parts of the country it shows signs of abating. 

Among Musalmans, as the term for ritual slaughter (zabh) 
implies, the killing of animals for food is in the nature of 

> Koran, ii. 216. 


a sacrifice, a feeling which also prevails among Hindus.^ An 
animal becomes legally fit for food when it is killed by any ' man 
of the Book ', Musalman, Jew, or Christian, by drawing the 
knife across the windpipe, gullet, and carotid artery, but if 
only two of these are divided the meat is unlawful {haram). 
Low-class Musalmans are not always careful to see that the 
throat is cut before life has actually ceased. The formula 
used is ' Bismi'llahi AUahi Akbar ', ' In the name of God, the 
Most Great ! ' 

A rich Musalman in Gujarat takes three meals a day : 
seven o'clock breakfast of tea and coffee with sweets ; a midday 
meal of unleavened bread, soup, minced savoury meat, cream, 
vegetables, and sometimes rice ; about 7 p.m. a meal of rice 
and pulse or rice boiled with meat, with clarified butter or 
ghi, and some kind of meat and fish and a dish made of curds, 
mangoes, lemons, or plantains. Middle-class people eat three 
less elaborate meals. The poor generally have two meals : 
breakfast about 11 a.m. of millet cakes ; at 7 p.m. rice and 
pulse with a little clarified butter, and as a relish onions or 
chillies with water to drink.^ 

Hindus use vessels made of brass and other alloys, Musal- 
mans only those of copper, which they are supposed to keep 
carefully tinned. Instead of the Hindu water-pot {lota) they 
use a vessel with a spout (badhnd),^ a pot (katora) for cooking 
vegetables, another (degchi, pateli) for cooking meat, a kind of 
tray (lagan), and a glass (gilds) of tinned copper. 

In Gujarat ' in a rich or middle -class household, for the 
ordinary day meal the whole family meet in one of the rooms 
of the ladies' apartments, and with a servant to bring in the 
dishes, men and women eat together. In poor families where 
the woman has to work, the men generally eat first and the 

1 The Desasht Brahmans of the Deccan eat only the meat of a sacri- 
ficed goat {BG. xvii. 51), and the priests of the Kali temple at Calcutta 
sell the flesh of the victims, the sanctity of the place and rite removing 
the taboo, to Hindus (Ward, The Hindoos, ii. 127) ; cf. Manu, Laws, 
V. 7. This was also the custom of the Achaemenian Kings of Persia 
(Maspero, Passing of the Nations, 593 f.). 

2 BG. ix, part 2, 109 ; cf. Lane, 3IE. i. 169 f. ; Hughes, 103 f. 

3 This is believed to be due to the belief in the necessity of using 
flowing water for ablution. 

318 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxiv 

women after they have dined. As a rule, only very near 
relations are allowed to dine with the family. But as a mark of 
special trust well-tried friends are sometimes allowed to share 
the privilege. The room is made ready for dinner by laying 
a white-coloured or printed cloth {dastarkhwdn) ^ over a part of 
the carpet, and by setting a china or earthenware cup and plate, 
with one or two spoons, a metal bowl or glass tumbler to drink 
from, and a napkin for each person. Fruit is laid beside 
the cups and plates. When dinner is ready the party sit down 
on cushions ranged round the cloth or on the carpeted floor. 
The host first seats himself at the head of the cloth, the rest of 
the family taking their places according to choice. Before 
eating, a brass or silver ewer (dftaba) with a basin is handed 
round by a servant, each person holding his hands over the 
basin on which water is poured and flows into the basin. After 
this the more religious before each mouthful say ' Bismillah ', 
' In the name of God ! ' Then the dishes are handed round by 
a servant or passed round, each guest helping himself. A water 
jar stands by the cloth and the guests fill their cups from it as 
they need. At the close the servant again brings round the 
ewer and basin and the hands are washed. The children are 
generally the first to leave, and the elders, both men and 
women, if they have no special business, sit smoking or chewing 
betel leaf. Among many families meals, especially dinner, 
are merry, with much talk and laughter.^ 

The staple dishes of Musalmans are Pulao or stew, Khichari 
or rice boiled with pulse, and Kabab or roast meat. 

There are many varieties of Pulao. The terms YaklinT, 
' cooked ', or Khara, ' saltish ', are applied to the complicated 
stew or broth made of rice and meat. The common kind is 
made of rice, clarified butter, curds, and spices, such as cummin, 

» This represents the Arab Sufra, or skin receptacle for holding food, 
on which the meal is spread, a relic of nomadic life (Burton, Pilqrimaae, 
i. 76 ; AN. i. 164). 

^ BG. ix, part 2, 111 f. ; Lane, ME. i. 179 fE. There is a good account 
of a feast at the house of a Musalman noble in E. Terry, Voyage to East 
India, ed. 1777, p. 195 £f. Compare a painting of a feast in Smith, 
HFA, plate cxviii, p. 472. The entertainments in gardens, which form 
such pleasing incidents in the life of the higher classes in Persia, are 
hardly known to Indo-Musalmans (Wills, 311 ff.). 

CH.VP. xxxiv FOOD AND DRINK 319 

cardamoms, cloves, cimiamon, coriander, coriander leaves, 
black pepper, green ginger, onions, garlic, and salt. Take half 
a ser or about 1 lb. mutton, four or five whole onions, a piece 
of green ginger, two dried cassia leaves, eight corns of black 
pepper, six quarts of water ; boil together in an earthen vessel 
until 1|- or 2 quarts remain ; mash the meat with the liquor and 
strain the broth (yakhni). Put J lb. butter into a tinned copper 
vessel and melt, frying in it the onions cut into long slices until 
they become reddish. In the butter which remains fry a fowl 
which has been already boiled, take it out and fry the dry rice 
in the butter. As the butter evaporates add the broth and boil 
the rice in it. Then put in 10 or 12 cloves, 10 or 12 peppercorns, 
4 pieces of mace, 10 or 12 small cardamoms, all whole, one 
dessertspoonful of salt, a piece of sliced ginger, and 2 dried 
cassia leaves. When the rice is done, remove all the fire from 
below the pot except a very little, and place it on the cover 
of the pot. If the rice is hard add a little water and put in 
the fowl, so that it may imbibe the flavour. When serving, put 
the fowl on a dish and cover it with the rice, garnishing the 
latter with a few hard-boiled eggs cut in two and the fried 
onions. The difference between a Pulao and a Chulao is that 
in the former the mixture is done by the cook, in the latter by 
the guest, who takes with the plain rice whatever delicacy he 

Other varieties of Pulao are Babune, flavoured with camo- 
mile ; Qorma, made like ordinary Pulao except that the meat 
is cut into very thin slices ; Mitha or ' sweet ', made of rice, 
sugar, butter, spices, and aniseed instead of ginger ; Muza'far 
shola, ' saffroned ', made with rice, saffron, milk, rose-water, 
and sugar, thin and cooling ; Muza'far Pulao or Shahsranga, 
' six-coloured ', like the last, but not so watery ; Tarl Pulao, 
made of rice, meat, turmeric, and butter ; Soya or dill (peu- 
cedanum graveolens) Pulao is made with dill added ; Machchhi, 
Mahl, ' fish ', Pulao has fish instead of meat ; Imli, ' tamarind ' 
Pulao contains tamarind ; Dampukht, ' steamed ' Pulao is 
made by adding the butter when nearly cooked and steaming ; 
Zarda, ' yellow ' Pulao has saffron added ; Kuku Pulao is made 
with fried eggs ; Dogoshta, ' two meats ', is made of rice, meat, 
butter and spices, excessively hot ; Pulao maghzlat, ' brain, 

320 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxiv 

marrow ', is M'tha Pulao with the addition of almonds, pistachio 
nuts, or other fruits ; BiryanT, ' fry ', is made with marrow, 
plenty of spices, limes, cream, and milk : Take 2 lb. raw meat, 
cover with curds, ginger, garlic, and salt, lay aside for three 
hours, fry 2 oz. of sliced onions and 12 oz. butter in an earthen 
pot, take out the onions and three-quarters of the butter and 
remove it from the fire. Then boil 2 lb. meat in water, scatter 
half the boiled rice on the fried meat, sprinkle it with spices and 
onions, pour a little butter on it, repeat the layers of meat, rice, 
spices, onions, and butter as before. Then pour a little milk over 
the whole sufficient to soften the rice. Make the earthen pot air- 
tight with pulse flour and cook on a charcoal fire ; Mutanjan 
(mutajjan, ' fried in a pan ') Pulao has meat, rice, butter, and 
sometimes pineapples and nuts ; Kash, Hallm, Bunt or Chane 
kl dal Pulao is made of gram, wheat, meat, and spices ; Labnl 
Pulao is made of cream in a silver dish, with nut kernels, 
sugar-candy, butter, rice, and spices, particularly aniseed ; 
Jaman Pulao is made of the Jaman fruit {eugenia jambolana) ; 
TItar, ' partridge ', Pulao is like YakhnT, but partridges are 
used instead of meat ; Bater Pulao, as its name implies, is 
made of quails ; Kofta of forced meat balls highly spiced ; 
Khari thali of meat with wheat flour or pulse : Kharl chakoli 
of meat, vermicelli, and green pulse. 

Kliichari, the Anglo-Indian Kedgeree, is thus made : 4 oz. 
mung pulse (phaseolus radiatus) fried slightly in a little butter, 
a process called bagharna. Sprinkle a little water on it while it 
is on the fire and then boil it in J pint water in a tinned copper 
vessel. When it is soft take it off the fire, put 4 oz. butter 
into another smaller vessel and when it is melted throw into it 
a handful of sliced onions. Fry till they become reddish and 
then remove from the fire. To the remaining butter add 8oz. 
washed rice and fry a little. Then add the pulse with the 
water in which it was boiled and two pieces of sliced ginger. 
When the water has nearly evaporated reduce the fire below and 
put the rice on a pot cover and shake it {dam dend, ' to give it 
breath '), but before doing so add 10 or 12 cloves, a couple of 
pieces of mace, 10 or 12 peppercorns, 2 dried cassia leaves, a 
dessertspoonful of salt and cover up. This is Safed or ' white ' 
Khicharl. When a yellow colour is desired add pounded 


turmeric about the size of a pea with the pulse. When served 
up, decorate with four hard-boiled eggs and the fried onions. 
Ubali or ' boiled ' Khichari is made of rice, pulse, hot and 
cold spices, the former being pepper, cloves, mace, cinnamon, 
cardamoms, cubebs ; the latter chillies, onions, garlic, ginger, 
coriander, cummin seed, tamarind, &c. Kash Kliicharl is the 
same as the last with the addition of meat. Baghari or Qabuli 
Khichari is like Ubali, but made with butter, and Bhiini, or 
' roasted ' Kliicharl, has still more butter. Khichra is made of 
rice and wheat with as many kinds of pulse as possible : tor 
{cajanus indicus), chand, gram (cicer arietinuni), mung (phaseo- 
lus radiatus), lobid (mgna catjang), balar {dolichos lablah), masiir 
(lens esculentus). Shola is Khichari with meat, Shartawa, 
without meat, made thin. 

Rice (chdwal). Rice is prepared in various ways : Khushka 
or Bhat, boiled ; Ubala, parboiled and dried in the sun, 
a form in which it is much used and preferred, as it has 
a richer flavour ; KanjT, in the Deccan gdnji, is rice gruel ; 
Turana, Basi kliana is boiled rice kept in cold water over-night, 
and used by the poor next morning when it has become sour ; 
Chalau or Baghara khushka is fried rice ; Gulathi, rice boiled 
to a pap to which butter is added, recommended as easy of 
digestion to those suffering from bowel complaints. 

Bread (roti) is leavened or unleavened. Nan or Roti 
ma'talan is leavened bread baked in an oven, leaven instead of 
yeast being used, and the cakes pressed against the inner heated 
sides of the oven {tannur) ; BaqirkhanT, which is said to take its 
name from that of its inventor, one Baqir Khan, differs from 
the last only in name ; Gaodida, ' ox eyed ', is so called from 
its round shape ; Gaozaban, ' ox tongue ', is of a long shape ; 
Shirmal is sweet, the flour being kneaded in milk ; Girda or 
Nan dakhila is large and round shaped ; Qurs, round, like the 
sun's disk ; Phulka, ' swollen ', Khamir phulka, or Nan pao is 
made with yeast in small flat cakes ; Khamirl roti, or leavened 
bread, is that used by Europeans. Unleavened bread is of 
many kinds : Roti, unleavened wheaten cakes baked on an 
earthen or iron plate {tawa) of which the common Chapati is 
a smaller and thinner kind ; Samosa or Sambusa, a three- 
cornered piece of pastry made of mincemeat ; Mithi Puri, thin 


322 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxiv 

sweet cakes fried in butter or oil ; Parata, a roll made of flour 
and butter ; Phiki Purl is plain, insipid fried cakes ; Kliajuri, 
' like a date ', is sweet bread shaped like a date, made of wheat 
flour, poppy seed, coco-nut kernel, mixed with water, cut in 
small pieces and fried ; SatparatI RotI, ' seven crusted ', is 
made of layers of thin cakes, every alternate one buttered and 
sprinkled with sugar, the whole fried in butter or toasted on an 
earthen or iron plate ; Pheni, ' foam like ', is made like the last, 
but smaller in size and without sugar ; Matkula is wheat 
flour paste, sweetened and formed into a long shape by hand- 
pressing, steamed like a boiled dumpling ; Baldar, ' twisted ', is 
a wheaten cake with butter in separate layers, like our pastry; 
Purl are cakes fried in butter, made of three kinds with fruit, 
meat, and pulse, like patties ; Laungchira, ' clove-like ', or 
Besan ki Roti, are cakes of gram flour, fried or plain ; Matthi 
Roti or Qimaq is made of flour, white of eggs and onions, 
fried in butter ; Chalpak, a thin cake fried in oil or butter ; 
ChTla, a thin cake of pulse meal ; Khata or Mlthi roti, saltish 
or sweet bread ; Andon ki roti, bread in which eggs are mixed ; 
Gulgula, made of wheat flour, sugar, curds, with anise and 
cardamom seeds, made into balls or dumplings and fried in 
butter ; Dahi Barl, Mash Dahl, flour of pulse (phaseolus 
radiatus) cooked with buttermilk ; Roghandar, bread with 
plenty of butter. 

Roasts. Kabab is meat cut into thin long pieces, dried in 
the sun and roasted by placing them on a spit over live coals 
or frying in butter. In North India Sikh Kabab consists of bits 
of meat with alternate slices of onion or other condiments, fixed 
on a spit and roasted over a bright charcoal fire. The Kabab- 
farosh, or seller of such dainties, sells also Gola or balls of meat 
and Prasanda, a small cutlet-like delicacy prepared in a frying- 
pan. Kofte Kabab is meat hashed with hot and cold spices, 
tamarind excepted, pounded in a wooden mortar, made into 
flat cakes and fried in butter ; Tikki ka Kabab is a South Indian 
name for similar meat balls, with spices and without tamarind, 
fried in butter ; Husaini Kabab consists of pieces of meat 
with salt and lime juice and toasted over a fire. ShamI, 
' Syrian ', Kabab is chopped meat with all the aromatic and 
cold spices, except chillies and tamarind, green ginger, and 


lime juice, made about a finger thick and fried in butter. 
Kaleje ka Kabab consists of the Hver, heart, and kidneys, cut 
into small pieces fixed on a skewer and roasted with salt. 
Laddu Kabab. which is shaped like the sweet balls of that name, 
is made of chopped meat with all hot and cold spices and 
aromatics, green ginger, and lime juice, formed into balls and 
roasted over a fire, the balls being tied up with string to prevent 
them from falling asunder. Patthar ka Kabab, or ' stone-roast ', 
is used on a journey, slices of meat being roasted on a stone 
which is heated by fire lighted on it. Machchhi ka Kabab is 
roasted fish, Qaliya, broiled meat dressed with any condiment 
and usually eaten with Pulao. 

Curries are of many kinds. To make Salan, ' saltish, 

spicy ', wash some meat in water, put it into an earthen or 

metal vessel and either let it boil in its own juice, which will 

be sufficient if the ineat is tender, or add a little water. Then 

add butter and spices and stir it well. The following is a more 

common receipt for good curries : 4 oz. butter, or half that 

quantity if the meat is fat ; or if a dry curry is desired, 2 oz. 

onions, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, 3 drachms of turmeric, cummin, 

and coriander seed, 3 red chillies, 4 or 5 corns of black pepper, 

^ oz. green ginger and a teaspoonful of salt. The spices are 

all to be ground separately on a stone (sil), adding a little 

water when the substance is dry, the coriander seed being 

previously toasted to improve its perfume. Put the butter 

into an earthen pot or tinned copper saucepan ; fry half the 

quantity of onions cut in long slices in it, and when they have 

become yellow-brown in colour take them off and set them 

aside. Then add the remaining butter to the meat, mix it up 

with all the spices and cover it up ; remove it occasionally, 

and before the meat is sufficiently done sprinkle a teaspoonful 

of water over it. If much g^a^^' is required a proportionate 

quantity of water is added, but the drier a curry is the nicer it 

tastes. Dopiyaza, so called because it contains a double 

quantity of onions (piydz), and others have no gravy. The 

following ingredients are sometimes added to improve the 

flavour : dried cassia leaves, dried coco-nut kernels, or essence 

of coco-nut, made by rubbing rasped coco-nut with water 

through a coarse towel, tamarind water, green or dried mangoes, 


324 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxiv 

and other fruits, lemon grass (cymhopogon nardus), fenugreek, 
the leaves of which greatly improve a curry. 

The varieties of materials used in curries is very great : 
various kinds of meat, flour of different kinds of grain, and 
vegetables which it is unnecessary to describe in detail. 

Curry powder. The following is an excellent receipt for 
curry powder : Take of powdered turmeric 20 teaspoonfuls, red 
dried chillies or cayenne pepper 8 teaspoonfuls, coriander seed, 
cummin, dried cassia leaves, of each 12 teaspoonfuls, and mix 
them together. 

Sweetmeats. The varieties of sweetmeats (shlrin, mithdi) 
are innumerable. One of the favourite kinds, Halwa, is 
made as follows : Fine wheat flour (suji) 2 lb., fried in 
1 lb. butter, to which add 4 to 6 lb. syrup, 3 rupees' weight of 
coco-nut kernel, g rupee weight of spices, 1 stick cinnamon, 
]0 cloves, 10 cardamoms and a little aniseed, and mix over 
a fire. In Akbar's time Halwa was made of flour, sugar-candy, 
butter, 20 lb. of each, the whole providing 15 dishes.^ 

Sherbet (sharbat) is a solution of sugar in water or of 
sugar-candy in rose-water. If lime juice is added it is called 
Abshora. Another variety is made of the best Damascus plums 
in water, with lemon or orange juice and sugar. Other kinds 
are made from violets, honey, raisin juice, &c. 

Pickles (dchdr). To make mango pickle, take 300 green 
mangoes, split them in two, take out the stones and dry them 
in the sun for three days. Then take 4^ oz. of turmeric, 
3x5 oz. garlic, 6 lb. salt, 1^ oz. mustard seed, and the same 
quantity of coriander seed toasted. Mix the spices together 
and lay the mixture in alternate layers with the mangoes. 
Add 9 oz. gingeli or sesamum oil, or as much as will cover them. 

Curds, curdled milk (dahi). ' Dahi differs from curd as 
prepared in Europe in being practically sour boiled milk, the 
fermenting agent being added when it is nearly cold. And the 
milk being boiled immediately as obtained from the cow con- 
tains all its fat or butter. In this form it is called Sara, and if 
kept hot may be acctunulated for some days till sufficient has 
been collected to make Dahi. Wliole-milk Dahi contains too 
much fat to be made into cheese. It is, in fact, cream cheese '.^ 
The ferment used is a little stale Dahi, tamarind or lime juice. 
1 Atn, i. 59. 2 Watt, Comm. Prod. 474 f. 



OpiuiM {afyun, afym) is the inspissated juice of the opium 
poppy {papaver somniferum). It is used in various forms by 
Musalmans, particularly by those living in cities, but in rural 
districts the habitual opium-eater, known as Afyiinchi, AfimchI, 
Pinak, ' drinker ', or Shahdmakkhi, ' honey bee ', from his 
fondness forsweets, is rarely seen. Opium is taken in the form 
of pills, followed by a little sugar or sweetmeats, or dissolved in 
water, and, if it is impure, strained or mixed with saffron. This 
l^st, the liquid form, is called Kusumbha, ' saffron ', and is 
commonly used by Rajputs.^ It is often taken in moderate 
quantities to flavour tobacco and as a febrifuge and stimulant. 
Though much evil results from the excessive use of the drug, 
the demoralization said to be due to it has been much exag- 
gerated. Very moderate consumers take about 1 Tola, 180 
grains Troy, 11-662 grammes per month, and the average con- 
sumption by an habitual opium-eater is believed to be about 
5 Tola per mensem. In some cases it has been reported that 
as much as a Tola a day is taken boiled in milk. The worst 
forms of the drug are Chandu and Madak or Madad. Chandu 
is made by steeping opium in water till it becomes soft, when 
it is boiled and strained. It is thus reduced to syrup {qiwdm, 
qimdm), which is kept for use. The pipe (banibu) is cleaned 
with a wire (girmit) and the Chandu is heated in the flame 
of a lamp till it becomes soft, when a little is placed in the 
pipe-bowl {dawdt), lighted and inhaled. Madak or Madad is 
made from the syrup of opium as above described, or more 
usually from the inspissated juice (pasewd) of the opium, 
which separates as it dries after being collected from the 
capsules, and this juice when coUected on rags is known in 
northern India as Kafa. This syrup is mixed with chopped 
betel leaves, paper, acacia leaves, cardamoms or chopped 
coco fibre, and it is sold in balls. Chandu is smoked in a 

» Tod, Annals of Rajasthdn (ed. 1920), i. 341, 541. 

326 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxv 

special pipe {nigali), but Madak in the ordinary tobacco bowl 
{chilam, mahrU). A form of opium constantly mentioned by the 
older travellers is Post or Koknar, a decoction of opium 
capsules, which was administered by the Mughal Emperors to 
princes or other men of rank whom it was desired to reduce to 
idiocy or remove without scandal.^ 

Among the preparations of hemp, Bhang, also known as 
SiddhT, ' accomplishment ',^ Sabzi, ' green leaves ', Thandal, 
' a cooling drink ', Bijaya or Vijaya, ' conquering ', Buti, 
' sprig, flower ', is the dried larger leaves of either or both the 
male and female plants, whether wild or cultivated, of Can- 
nabis saliva. Charas is the resinous substance that appears 
spontaneously on the leaves, stems, inflorescence, and fruits of 
the hemp plant when cultivated in cold and dry regions. 
Ganja is the dried flowering tops of the cultivated female 
plants, which become coated with a resinous exudation from 
glandular hairs, very largely in consequence of their being 
deprived of the opportunity of forming seed.^ Bhang is pre- 
pared by mixing black pepper with the hemp and crushing the 
mixture on a stone slab {sil) with a roller {battd). This is in- 
fused in water, strained and drunk. Bhang butter {bhang ghi) 
is made by boiling Bhang in milk, skimming off the cream and 
turning it into butter ; it is used as an anaesthetic by native 
surgeons. In the Deccan the hemp leaves {siddhl) are washed 
in water to the amount of 3 drachms, to which are added 45 
grains black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and mace, of each 11 J 
grains. This is triturated with 8 oz. water, milk, juice of water- 
melons, or cucumber seed, strained and drunk. It is often 
drunk without the spices, which are believed to make it more 

In the case of Charas the exudation is collected by a man who 
covers himself with a blanket and runs through a hemp field, 
thus absorbing the gum with the dew adhering to the leaves. 
The blanket is then scraped, washed, and wrung. The pro- 
ducts are made into an electuary of which five grains mixed 

* J. Fryer, A New Account o/ East India and Persia, Hakluyt Society, 
i. 92 ; ill. 169 ; Bernier, Travels, 106 f. ; Elliot-Dowson, vii. 131. 

2 The Siddhas, in Hindu belief, are semi-divine beings who dwell in 
the upper air. ^ Watt, Comm, Prod. 258 fiE. 


with tobacco is smoked and proves speedily intoxicating. 
In Sind it is never eaten raw either for intoxication or as a 
medicine, but it is either smoked or eaten in the form of an 
electuary known as Ma'jun. Bhang is said to terrify the con- 
sumer, to make him speak in an animated way, and to keep 
him armed against any efforts to make him reveal confidential 
matters.^ Ganja is used by rubbing the leaves between the 
hands and smoking it with tobacco, but it is also smoked by 
itself. Ma'jiin is an electuary taken internally by Musalmans, 
particularly by the njost dissolute, as a nerve stimulant, in- 
toxicant, and for the relief of pain. An overdose not infre- 
quently causes mental derangement. In the popular belief 
it gives intoxication {kaifa), vigour (quwwat), and it is used as 
an aphrodisiac. The chief ingredients of this electuary are 
Ganja, milk, butter, poppy seeds, flowers of the Dhatura or 
thorn-apple, powder of Nux vomica and sugar. Another 
receipt is as follows : Take 2 quarts milk, put into it 2 lb. 
Ganja leaves and boil till the liquid is reduced to 3 lb. Take 
out the leaves and coagulate the milk by adding a little sour 
milk (dahi). Next day churn it and separate the butter, adding 
wild cloves, nutmeg, cloves, mace, saffron, of each 3 drachms, 
sugar-candy 15 drachms, and boil till it forms an electuary. Or, 
more simply, the leaves of the hemp are fried in butter and 
strained and the residue is drunk with some sugar, or the 
liquor is boiled with sugar until it acquires a consistence 
sufficiently thick to form cakes when it cools. In the north 
of India 6 lb. of Bhang are added to 4 lb. clarified butter and 
70 lb. sugar. The Bhang is soaked for a night in water and 
next day the water is drained off. A little butter is melted in 
a pan, and the Bhang is mixed with it. Water is then added, 
and the mixture is boiled until the Bhang becomes soft, when 
it is strained and pounded into a paste. This is then boiled 
with the rest of the sugar and milk. It is allowed to harden 
by drying and cut into small pieces. Two squares are enough 
to cause intoxication to an ordinary person. People seldom 
become used to taking Ma'jun, and it is usually employed as 
a sexual stimulant and as an excitant to debauch.^ 

1 Burton, Sindh, 169 f. ; Balfour, Cyclopaedia of India, i. 337. 
^ Atkinson, Himalayan Gazetteer, i. 765 f. 

328 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxv 

Tobacco is known in northern India as Tambaku, the Indian 
form of the Spanish tobacco, from the American name of the 
plant, thus showing its foreign origin.^ In the Deccan it is 
called Gudaku or Guraku {gur, ' raw sugar ', Telugu, dku, 
' leaf '). Most Musalmans smoke or chew tobacco, or use 
snuff, and women smoke and sometimes chew. In the Panjab 
Shi'as smoke tobacco in a clay bowl (chilam), but the MuUas of 
the Sunn! Pathans discourage smoking and the use of Charas.^ 
Musalmans very generally use the Huqqa or pipe with a stand, 
while Hindus often prefer the small hand pipe made of a coco- 
nut bowl, which can be handed from one man to another and 
carried while travelling. But the use of cigarettes is rapidly 
increasing. The right to use the caste or tribal pipe is care- 
fully restricted, and exclusion from its use is a common form 
of social boycott {huqqa pdni band karna, ' refusal to allow a man 
to smoke or drink water with his fellows '). In Lucknow, which _ 
is famous for its tobacco, it is made plain (sddd) or fermented 
{khamird). In the former the dried leaf is pounded and mixed 
with its own weight of coarse sugar (shird). Khamira tobacco 
is made by adding to the leaves musk and spices. Chewing 
tobacco [khainl, sUrati, ' from Surat ') is steeped when green 
in red ochre and dried. The following are approved receipts 
for pipe tobacco in the Deccan : 8 lb. tobacco leaves, 8 lb. 
treacle, 1 lb. preserved apples, or, as a substitute, preserved 
pine-apple or jujube (her, zizyphus jujuba), 1 lb. raisins, 1 lb. 
conserve of roses (gulqand). These are well pounded together 
in a wooden mortar, put into an earthen pot, the mouth of 
which is made air-tight, and it is buried underground for three 
months before being used. If spiced tobacco be desired, they 
add Pegu cardamoms, cubebs, sandalwood, patchouli, and 
spikenard, 8 oz. of each, and mix them well together before the 

1 Tobacco was introduced into northern India in 1604^5, and the 
historian, Asad Beg, gives a curious account of the first experiment of 
its use in Akbar's court. His Majesty, however, was advised not to 
use it (Elliot-Dowson, vi. 165 ff. ; Smith, Akhar, 407 fE.). Doubtless 
to the Portuguese is due the credit of having conveyed both the plant 
and the knowledge of its properties to India and China (Watt, Econ. 
Prod. 796). 

" Rose, iii. 184. On the prohibition of the use by Wahhabis, see 
Palgrave, Personal Narrative, 283 f. 


pot is buried. In the Panjab the spices comprise preserved 
apple, conserve of roses, dried betel leaves, a kind of scented 
wood (mushkbald), sandalwood, wild jujube, and the pulp of the 
Amaltas {cassia fistula). Tobacco without spices is considered 
the most wholesome, and if it is duly fermented underground 
it becomes mellow and agreeable. A mild tobacco {halkd, 
phlka) is distinguished from the strong {kaurd) by placing 
a little on the tongue and seeing if it causes irritation. If 
a mild tobacco is desired, wash the leaves a few times in cold 
water and then dry in the sun, then pound. Another receipt 
is as follows : Take of good tobacco 40 lb., raw palmyra sugar 
40 lb., nagarmotha (cyperus rotundus) 6 drachms, twenty ripe 
plantains, 10 wood apples, 6 drachms cloves. Pound all 
separately, except the tobacco and sugar. Then mix with 
them 4 lb. tobacco and sugar ; make eight divisions of the 
remaining tobacco and sugar, grind one at a time well with 
the mass, add them all together and knead them well with the 
hands. Then bury the compound for a month in a dunghill. 

The common tobacco pipe {hiiqqd, qaliyun) consists of three 
parts : the bowl {chilam) containing the fire and the tobacco ; 
the stem with the ' snake ' (naichd) on which the pipe-head is 
fixed ; the bowl containing water or rose-water. The pipe used 
by rich people is often a work of art. That used by middle 
and low-class people is of the same shape, but the bowl is of 
clay, the stem of wood, and a coco-nut shell serves as the 
water bowl. 

Snuff {sunghni, nds) is dry tobacco powdered and perfumed. 
In eastern Bengal it is rarely used except medicinally, being 
said to cure headaches by eliminating morbid humours from the 
brain. ^ The best comes from Benares and Masulipatam. 

For lighting the tobacco specially prepared balls of charcoal 
(gul) are used. They are made of tamarind or Pipal {ficus religi- 
osa) charcoal, mixed with acacia gum, molasses, and rice gruel. 

The use of Betel {jpdn) is habitual among Indian Musalmans 
of both sexes. Betel leaf is the produce of a perennial creeper 
{piper betle), probably introduced into India from Java. It 
has been used from very early times and is chewed generally in 
a packet {bird), among the lower classes the leaf being generally 

' Wise, Notes on Races, Castes, and Trades, 113. 

330 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxv 

mixed with areca nut {areca catechu), known as Supari, lime and 
Kath, a crystalline substance produced from the tree Acacia 
catechu, and by richer people with cardamoms, camphor, and 
other spices. ' It is somewhat astonishing that a narcotic 
stimulant so much used by all natives of India should have 
attracted so little attention in writings on medicine. . . . But no 
European physician in India seems to have experimented on 
the value of the drug as a tonic, stomachic, and slight stimulant. 
Acting on the great reputation enjoyed by Pan all over the 
East, and on the remarks made on the drug by such early 
travellers as Marco Polo, Dutch botanists and physicians have 
used it experimentally, and have come to the conclusion 
that the chewing of betel leaves does promote health in the 
damp and miasmatic climate of that country \^ The juice 
stains the teeth and mouth, and in popular belief it is an 
indispensable adjunct to a woman's beauty, and it is said to 
distinguish a man from a dog. The distribution of betel is a 
prominent act in the reception of visitors, when it is recognized 
as a sign of closing an interview, and at Darbars or public levees. 
The usual etiquette is that when given from the hand it implies 
the superiority of the donor, when presented in a silver or gold 
box it implies equality. The giving of betel, probably owing to 
its supposed spirit power as a stimulant, assumes a sacramental 
form. Among the Rajputs it was given before going into battle 
or on dangerous service.^ 

1 Watt, Econ. Diet, vi, part i, 255. On the popular view of the value 
of betel, see EUiot-Dowson, iii. 114 ; Ain, i. 72. 

2 Tod, A7mals of Rajasthan, i. 346, 381, 481, 552, 570 ; ii. 969, 1040. 



Chess, one of the most universal games, known as Shatranj 
(chaturanga, ' an army arranged in four divisions '), is the 
only game allowed to be lawful by Musalman doctors, because 
it depends wholly on skill and not on chance, but the Prophet is 
said to have denounced it.^ The difference between European 
or Frankish (farangi) and Indian chess is thus stated by Sir 
R. Burton ^ : The queen is always placed to the right of the 
king ; pawns never move two squares, and when one reaches 
the end of the board it is changed for the piece belonging to 
the particular square attained ; a checkmate wins the game, 
but when the antagonist loses all his pieces, except the king 
of course, only half a game is reckoned. Finally, what we do in 
one move by castling with them takes three : the rook must be 
moved to the next square to the king ; the king makes one 
move like a knight beyond the castle ; the king takes the 
square next to the castle. The game called Turkish (rilmi) is 
puzzling to Europeans owing to the peculiar use of the queen 
and bishop. It invariably begins with the queen's pawn two 
squares and queen one square, after which the latter piece can 
move only one square obliquely, and must take other pieces 
and give check in the same way. The bishop moves obliquely 
like the queen, but passes over one square even when it is 
occupied by another piece. Another modification, originally 
derived from India, is called Band. Its chief peculiarity is 
that when any piece is defended by a second, provided the 
latter be not the king, the former cannot be taken. This, of 
course, protracts the game considerably, so that two or three 
days may elapse before checkmate can be given. Again, in 

' Sale, Koran, 89, 93 note ; Mishkat, ii. 373. There is much dispute 
regarding the origin of the game {EB. vi. 100 ff. ; H. J. 11. Murray, Hist, 
of Chess, Oxford, 1913). 

» Sitidh, 292. 

332 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxvi 

Indian chess the king makes a knight's move, and may- 
only do so if he has not been checked. Wlien making this 
move the king may not cross any square commanded by an 
opposing piece, nor may he move into check. In the first 
game either player may make the first move, but for the 
second game the winner of the first has the move.'^ Another 
very curious rule is that onlookers and visitors may express 
their opinions regarding the moves, and the players may not 
object. The onlookers have also the privilege of pointing out 
an illegal move. 

In Ceylon the only variations from the English game are the 
absence of castling ; the additional power of the king to jump 
at any time as a knight until he has been once in check ; the 
limitation of the first move of the pawn to a single square ; 
when any pawns reach any of the last squares they can become 
only the piece that was in the same colour or line of squares 
originally, provided such piece has been originally captured 
by the enemy, so as to be available for replacing on the 
board. 2 

In Bombay ' as ordinarily played, chess differs from the 
European game only in one or two points. These are that only 
the pawns of the king, queen, and castles can at starting move 
two squares ; that the first move of the king when not under 
check may be the same as a knight's move ; that only the king's 
and queen's pawns can become queen ; and that, if it goes on 
till only five pieces are left, the game is drawn. As played 
it is noisier than the English game ; each player has several 
friends to back him, and every move is the subject of stormy 
discussion. Two other varieties of the game, the Persian and 
the Hindu, differ much from ordinary chess. The Persian 
game is called Zarafa, ' beauty, ingenuity ', played with more 
squares and pieces. The ZorlbazI, or Hindu game, uses the 
ordinary board and men, but with the rule that no covered 
piece can be taken '.^ 

Nard or backgammon is played by men who have been in 
Persia, or who have learned it from natives of that country or 

' G. A. L. Sinha, The Chess Amateur, July, 1909. 

2 H. Parker, Ancient Ceylon, 586 : for chess in Persia, see Wills, 97. 

" BO. ix, part 2, 173. 


from Englishmen. Persians call it Takht-i-Nadir Shah, 
' Nadir Shah's throne '. ^ 

Pachisi is the most popular Indian game. The board con- 
sists of four triangles with their various sides so placed as to 
form a square in the centre. Each rectangle is divided into 
24 small squares, each consisting of 3 rows of 8 squares each. 
It is usually played by four persons, each of whom is furnished 
with four ivory or wooden cones {got, gotl) of a peculiar colour 
for distinction, and takes his station opposite one of the 
rectangles. His pieces start one by one from the middle row 
of one of his own rectangles, beginning at the division next to 
the large central space. They then proceed round the outside 
rows of the board, passing, of course, through that of the 
adversaries' rectangles, travelling from right to left, i. e. con- 
trary to the course of the sun, until they get back to the central 
row from which they started. Any piece, however, is liable to 
be taken up and thrown back to the beginning, as in back- 
gammon, by any of the adversaries' pieces happening to fall 
upon its square, except in the case of the twelve privileged 
squares which are marked with a cross. In that case the over- 
taking piece cannot move from its position. Their motion is 
determined by the throwing of six or seven cowry shells used 
as dice, which count according as the apertures fall upper- 
most or not. One aperture up counts 10 ; two 6 ; three 3 ; 
four 4 ; five 25 ; six 30 ; seven 12 ; and if none be turned up 
it counts 6. A throw of 25 or 30 gives an additional move 
of 1 . At the last step the throw must amount to exactly 1 more 
than the number of squares left to make the piece go into the 
central space, that is, as we should say, off the board. If it 
happens to stop in the last square, therefore, it cannot get 
off till the player throws 25 or 30. The players throw in turns, 
and each goes on till he throws a 2, 3, or 4, when he loses the 
lead. If the same number be thrown twice consecutively it 
does not count. The game is generally played with six cowries, 
making the highest throw 25, the six apertures up then 
counting 12. Hence it is termed PachTsi from pachls, 25. 

1 Nadir Shah, King of Persia, sacked Delhi in a.d. 1739. For the 
game, see Burton, Sindh, 292 ; AN. x. 132. According to Ferishta 
(i. 150), it was invented by Buzruj Mihr, minister of the Persian King, 

334 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxvi 

The board is used as a carpet, ornamented and marked with 
different colours of cloth sewn on it. It is sometimes played by 
two persons, each taking the two opposite rectangles with eight 
pieces, and playing them all from the rectangle next to him. 
The game continues till three of the players get out, and it is 
never played for money.^ 

Pachlsi is an ancient Hindu game, represented in a painting 
in the caves of Ajanta, and boards marked out in marble 
squares in a quadrangle in the Agra fort and at Fathpur SIkrI 
were, it is said, the places where Akbar used to play the 
game, using slave girls as the pieces.^ In Sind Chanarpisi is 
simpler than Pachlsl. The board is divided into twenty-five 
squares, and each player has four pieces with the same number 
of cowries. The latter are used like dice at backgammon to 
decide the number of squares to be moved over. The name is 
derived from chanar, the technical term when all four cowries 
fall to the ground with the slit upwards, and pisi when only 
one is in this position. The game may be played by either two 
or four persons, and he wins who first reaches the central 
square. Whenever a piece is in one of the crossed squares it 
cannot be taken by the adversary.^ 

Chausar, ' four-limbed ', takes its name from the cross-like 
shape of the board. It is played chiefly by men, Pachlsi by 
women and the poor. The game is played either by four 
players with four counters each, or by two players with eight 
counters each. In shape the board is like a cross of four 
rectangles, the narrow sides placed so as to enclose a central 
space square in shape. Each rectangle is marked like a chess- 
board eight squares long and three broad. Starting one by 
one from the middle line of his own rectangle and from the 
square next the central space, the player sends his four 
cowries round the outer line of squares till they work back to 
the starting-point. The difficulty is that, as at backgammon, 
the pieces, unless protected, may be taken up by the other 
player, and have to begin again. The game goes on till three 

> Sir E. B. Tylor, JRAI. viii. 116 ; Murray, op. cit. 31 ; Temple, 
Legends of the Panjab, i. 244 f. ; BO. ix, part 2, 173. On the Burmese 
form of the game, Shway Yoe, The Burman, ii. 83 f. 

2 BG. xii. 528 ; Syad Muhammad Latif, Agra, Historical and Descrip- 
tive, 86, 142. 3 Burton, Sindh, 294. 


of the players succeed in working their men round the 
board. '^ 

Chaupar is played on a cloth board in the form of a cross. 
Each arm of the cross is divided into twenty-four squares in 
three rows of eight each, twelve red and twelve black. In the 
centre where the arms meet is a large black square. The cross 
is called Chaupar, the arms Phansa, the squares Khana, On 
this board are played two games called Chaupar, but tech- 
nically one that is played with dice is called Phansa and that 
played with cowries Pachisl. Another variety is Chandal- 
mandal, a favourite game of Akbar.^ 

Dice are known as Pasa or Dhara, and the game Qimarbazi 
or Juabazl. It is played with four-sided pieces of ivory, about 
two inches long and one-third inch in diameter. The sides are 
marked with an ace (pdon), deuce (duo), cinque (panjo), and 
sice (chakko).^ A set of three dice is generally used, and whan 
not combined with any other game, playing with these is called 
Jua. No skill is required and the highest number wins. The 
game is prohibited by British law and forbidden in the Koran.* 

Cards (ganjifa, tds) are played with two kinds of cards : 
AngrezI or English, a pack containing 52 cards ; Mughal! 96, 
the latter divided into eight suits, each of twelve cards : Bad- 
shah, ' king ', Wazir, ' prime -minister ', and ten from 10 to ace. 
In Gujarat in the common game three players use eight suits of 
round cards, twelve cards to each suit, i.e. 32 cards to each 
player. Of the eight suits four are major and four minor. 
The major are : Taj, ' crown ', Safed, ' white ', with a mark 
representing the Moon, Ghulam, ' slave ', Shamsher, ' sword '. 
The minor are Chang, ' bell ', Surkh, ' red ', with a mark 
representing the Sun, Barat, a ' Banker's bill ', Kumaj, 
Kumach, Kumash, ' an unleavened cake '. In the major 
suits the value of the cards runs : Badshah, ' king ', WazIr, 
' prime-minister ', 10, 9, and so on to ace ; in the minor, - 
Badshah, Wazir, ace, 1, 2, and so on to 10, the lowest. The 
major cards of a suit are trumps. By day the Sun set, by night 
the Moon set is the superior. The person playing the Sun may 

» BG. ix, part 2, 173. 

2 Temple, op. cit.,i. 243 f. ; Afn i. 303f. Plate xvii. 

3 Burton, op. cit., 293. . Mi. 216 ; v. 93. 

336 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxvi 

be paid in cards of either description, discarding the lowest. 
Cards are shuffled before being dealt. He who holds the 
Sun starts the game in the day, and the holder of the Moon 
by night. 1 The game played by Akbar was more elaborate. ^ 
In north India the suits are : hearts (pan, ' betel '), diamonds 
{int, ' brick '), spades {hukm, ' order '), clubs (chiriya, ' bird '). 
The cards from 1 to 10 are ekka, duggi, tiggl, chaukd, panja, 
chakka, sattha, attha, nahld, dahla, Ghuldm, ' slave ', knave, 
Bibia, queen, and Badshah, king. The ace is the highest card of 
each suit. Three persons only play, and the two of diamonds 
{Int kl duggi) is discarded, thus leaving 51 cards, of which 17 
are dealt to each player. No trump is turned up, because spades 
are always trumps, and the holder of the ace of spades leads. 
There is no partnership, each player plajdng for himself. The 
play and deal pass to the right. To deal a card is tas bantnd, to 
play a card patta phenknd, to play winning cards sar karnd^ 
Thus ids is the pack, pattd a single card. To lose is khilal : 
kis ke upar khilal hud, ' Who has lost ? ' ^ 

Miscellaneous games are very numerous. Odd and even 
{tdq-juft, nakhd-mutth, bharmutth, Mughal-Pathdn) is played 
like draughts on a diagram sketched upon the ground, or on 
a board or paper, using sixteen cowries or ' men '. A variety 
of this in the Deccan is Madrangam, played with four tigers and 
sixteen sheep. To fly kites is Patang or Kankawwa urana. The 
game is played with great enthusiasm not only by boys, but by 
elderly men, the kite being square, without a tail, and the string 
strengthened with starch and covered with pounded glass to 
help in cutting the kite-string of an adversary.* Pigeon-flying 
is most favoured in cities, the owners frantically whistling 
and waving flags from the house-tops to recall their own or 
to entice the birds of a rival sportsman. ^ Akbar called it 
'IshqbazT, ' love-play ', and delighted in it.« Chaugan or polo 
was a Mughal game and it was played by the earlier Sultans of 
Delhi. About 1864 it was revived by Europeans, being copied 
from that played at Manipur on the eastern frontier, and Balti 

1 BG. ix, part 2, 173. 2 Am, i. 306 ff. 

^ Hoey, Monograph on Trade and Manufactures, 188. 
^ Mrs. Meer Hassan All, 216 f. s Manucci, i. 108. 

« lin, 1. 298 ff. 



and Chitral on the north-west. Athletics include cricket, 
football, wrestling {chatpat in the Deccan, kushti in north India), 
the use of heavy dumb-bells or clubs (mugdar), and raising 
and stretching the body on the feet and hands {dand). Games 
with fencing swords and quarterstaves form part of the Muhar- 
ram celebrations. Cockflghting is still practised in out-of-the- 
way places, and Muhammadans keep fighting quails, ama- 
davats {Idl), or partridges, but the keeping of such birds is 
generally confined to ne'er-do-wells. 

The games of children^ are like those played by Hindus. 
Among them may be mentioned : Aghilzap, marbles, of which 
Ekparl-sabsarT, throwing marbles into a hole, is a variety ; 
Akalkliwaja is played with marbles and two holes, the player 
counting one each time his marble strikes another or goes into 
a hole ; Andhla Badshah, ' the blind king ', is a kind of blind 
man's buff ; Ankh michauli, miclihawal, mundawwal is blind 
man's buff, known in Bengal as Kan! makkhl, ' the one-eyed 
fiy ' ; Bagh bakri is the game of tiger and goats, sometimes 
thirteen of each ; Baro-chhapja, ektara, dotara is another 
kind of blind man's buff ; in Bujha-bujhi a child's eyes are 
bound up and he is asked to tell who touched him, and until he 
succeeds in guessing he is not released ; of Buntl-chandu there 
are two varieties, one Uran-chandu, in which a cap is thrown 
into the air, and whoever catches it pelts the others with it 
as they run away, and Bama-chandu, in which a stone is set up 
against a wall at which each boy aims his cap {chandu) three 
times, and whoever succeeds in knocking it down flings it at 
the others ; Chakri, Chakki is a bandalore, a small reel with a 
cord fixed in its centre which winds and unwinds itself alter- 
nately by the motion of the hand ; Chfl jhapatta, ' falling on 
one hke a kite ', in which, if a boy raises his hands at the word 
' gadhd-pharphar ', which he should not do, he is tickled by all 
the party ; in Ghirka a stick is fixed in the ground with another 
across resting on a pivot, and a boy sitting at each end with 
their feet touching the ground whirl it round, the joint making 
a creaking noise ; Ghum, ' turning ', is another game of the 
same kind in which boys hold a rope fastened to a pole fixed in 

1 For children's games in south India, see F. R. Hemingway, Tanjore 
Gazetteer, i. 65. 


338 ISLAM IN INDIA chap, xxxvi 

the ground and run round it ; GillT-danda is tip-cat, the 
gilll being a short stick struck by the other and longer one ; 
Gophiya, guphna, gophan is a shng used to discharge clay balls 
at birds ; Gulel is a pellet -bow used in the same way to protect 
the crops ; Hardo, Kabaddi, Phala, or Tora is prisoners' base, in 
which boys divide into two parties, one of which takes its 
station on one side of a line or ridge (paid) and their rivals on 
the other ; one boy shouting ' Kabbaddi ! Kabbaddi ! ' tries 
to touch one of those on the other side ; if he is able to do so 
and return in safety to his party the boy touched is said to 
be ' killed ' and falls out of the game, but if the assailant is 
caught and cannot return he ' dies ' and falls out in the same 
way ; the attack is made alternately and that side is victorious 
in which some remain after all their rivals are ' dead ' ; in 
Jharbandar, 'tree monkey', or Dab-daboli, one boy climbs 
a tree and defends his position against the others ; in Kan- 
chiti or Sawari a boy is held by the ears by another boy who 
strikes a piece of wood supported by two stones and tries to 
knock it down. Lattu is the game of tops, and Phisal-banda 
sliding down the steep banks of a tank, river, sloping stone, 
or hill. In Qazi-MuUa one boy acts as the chief law officer and 
another as a learned divine. Satkudi, ' seven steps ', is like 
our hop, step, and a jump. Thikrimar. ' throwing a potsherd 
(thikri) ' is like our Ducks and Drakes. 


By the grace and blessing of God the Qanun-i-Islam has been 
completed with great diligence and perseverance, and at the 
particular request of a just appreciator of the merits of the 
worthy, a man of rank, of great liberality and munificence, 
Dr. Herklots — May his good fortune, age, and wealth ever 
increase ! Amen ! and Amen ! — for the benefit of the honour- 
able English gentlemen — May their empire be exalted 1 

Nothing relative to the customs of Musalmans in Hindostan 
will be found to have been concealed. 

The only thing I have now to hope for from my readers is 
that they will wish the author and translator well, for which 
they will receive blessings from God and thanks from man- 

This is my hope from every liberal mind. 
That all my faults indulgence meet may find ; 
Those who through spite or envy criticize, 
Are witless wights, and the reverse of wise. 

Finished at EUore. 




'Abbas, uncle of the Prophet, 10 ; 
'Ali-'alambardar, 138, 160 ; 'Ab- 
basi, a Shaikh group, 10 ; Abba- 
sides, colour of their dress, 303. 

Abdal, lieutenants, a class of 

_ Faqirs, 287. 

Abdar-khana, a place where water 
and sherbet is distributed at the 
Muharram festival, 168. 

'Abdu-1-qadir al JHani, the Saint, 
190, 192 ff., 288 ; 'Abdu-1-haqq , 
the Saint, 137 ; 'Abdu-1-Wahid 
bin Zaid Kufi, the Saint, 287. 

'Abdu-Uah Haqlqi Hanif Gazruni, 
the Samt, 288 ; Shattari, the 
Saint, 289 ; ibn Zubair, 154. 

Abir, perfumed powder, 61,94, 168, 
169, 236 ; how made, 310 f. 

Abjad,the rule of calculating dates, 

_ 221, 260. 

Abkhora, a metal cup, 107. 

Ablution, 125 ff. ; merits of, 126 f . 

Abniis, ebony, 150. 

Abraham, sacrifice of Ishmael, 
119 f.; Friend of God, 120; 
footprints of, 117 ; see Ibrahhih. 

Abpu, the face haii', 285. 

Abshora, a kind of sherbet, 324. 

Abu Bakr Siddiq, the first Khalifa, 

10, 122,288; HanHa, 15; Huraira, 

231, 255 ; Ishaq Chishtl, the 

Saint, 288 ; Farra Tartusi, 288 ; 

_ Wahid bin Zaid, 288. 

Achar. pickles, 324. 

Achwani, achhwani, caudle, 23. 

'Ad, an infidel tribe, 152. 

'Adalat, a court of justice; 'Ada- 
lat Shah, the quarter-master of 
_ a band of Faqirs, 170, 179. 

Adam, Adam, his family, 233 ; 
legends of, 89, 151, 206, 232, 233, 

Aerolite, an, hung in a mosque, 147. 

Adhamiyan, a household of Saints, 

Afghans, Hebrew descent of, 11 ; 
beliefs of, 7 ; ritual in divorce, 

Afim, afimchi : see Afyun. 

Afshan, silver leaf, tinsel, 73. 

Afsun, an incantation, 236. 

Aftaba, a ewer, 78, 318. 

Af tabgir, an umbrella carried at the 
Muharrum festival, 162. 

Afyiin, afim, opium, 316, 325 f. ; 
Afyunchi, afimchi, an opium- 
eater, 325. 

Agar, agara, the aromatic eagle- 
wood, 236, 310. 

Agha, a honorific title : Agha 
Khan, the, 13. 

Aghilzap, the game of marbles, 337. 

Ahir, the cowherd caste, marriage 
customs, 8. 

Ahl-i-hadis, people of the Tradi- 
tions, a Wahhabi title, 3 ; Alil-i- 
Kitab, Ahlu-1-Kitab, men of the 
Book, Jews, Christians, 14, 109, 

Ahmad Khan, the Saint, 137. 

Ajal, death, 250. 

'Ajam, foreign lands, Persia, 208. 

Ajwain, diU, 23. 

Akalkhwaja, a game of marbles, 

Akbar, the Emperor, invasion of 
southern India, 2 ; reign of, 5 f . ; 
his religious views, 6 ; his rever- 
ence for the Saint Salini Chishti, 
18 ; his coins used in magic, 21 ; 
naming of, 29 ; his first dress, 
36 ; rite at hisfirst crawling, 41 ; 
weighed against gold and silver, 
47 ; his birthday knot, 47 ; his 
rules regarding circumcision, 
48 ; breathing rite, 61 note 2 ; 



his regulation of purification, 54 ; 
his rules regarding age of mar- 
riage, 58 ; his objection to ex- 
cessive marriage settlement, 75 ; 
removal of his corpse, 96 ; 
his tomb, 102 ; pilgrimage by 
deputy, 115; his pilgrimage to 
Ajmer, 142 ; his desecration of 
mosques, 146 ; playing PachisI, 
334 ; playing Chandal-mandal, 
335 ; his fondness for kite- 
flying, 336. 

Akhara, a wrestling ground, a 
place where Faqirs congregate, 

_ 158. 

Akhiri Chahar, Char, shamba 

_ festival, 52, 65, 186 f. 

Akhiin. akhiind, a revered teacher, 

Akhyar, abounding in good gifts, 
a class of Faqirs, 287. 

Alagni, a clothes line, 220. 

Al-aiwan : see Al-iwdn. 

'Alam, the individual name, 29 ; 
a standard paraded at the 
Muharram festival, and other 
celebrations, 157, 196. 

'Alamat, a royal title, 29. 

Alau-d-dln, of Delhi, attacks 
southern India, 2. 

Al-aula, the pelting place near 
Mecca, 119. 

Alawa, a fire-pit, 135, 158, 165, 

Alexander the Great, 139, 271. 

Alfa, a shirt, 94, 175, 285, 296. 

AlganI : see Alagni. 

Al-haula-i-mahfuz, the guarded 
tablets, 151. 

Al-hukm-i-llah, the commander in 
a troop of Faqirs, 1 70. 

'All, son-in-law of the Prophet, 14, 
78 ; his night, 207 ; the first of 
the Saints, 287, 288 : see Maula 

Allah, God, 255, note 6; Allah 
rahim kl pindian, an offering of 
sweetmeats, 134. 

Alms, 113; persons entitled to 
receive, 114 f. 

Aloe wood : see ' Ud. 

Alphabet, use of, in magic, 221. 

Al-Qarar, one of the seven Heavens, 

Al-Sirat, the Bridge of Death, 40, 

'Amal, religious practice, 109. 
Amaltas, the Indian laburnum, 

'Amari, ambari, a litter, 73, 181. 
Amber, 150. 
'Amil, an exorcist, 17. 
Amin, Amen, 131, 206. 
Aminu-d-din Hubairatu-l-Basri, 

the Saint, 288. 
Amlru-l-muminin, the Commander 

of the Faithful, 129, 217. 
Amr-i-llah, God's officer, a func- 
tionary in a troop of Faqirs, 1 70. 
Amulets, 43, 239, 285 ; cases for 

holding, 254 f., 314. 
Anaga, a nurse, 25. 
Ancestors, food offered to, 203 f., 

Andhla Badshah, the game of blind 

man's buff, 337. 
Andon ki roti, bread with eggs, 

Anga, angarkha, a coat, 300. 
Angels, the Recording, 90. 
AngI, angiya, a woman's bodice, 

Angithi Shah, King Chafing-dish, 

a Muharram Faqlr, 173. 
Anhilwara, Kings of, 13. 
Animals used for food, 315 ; ritual 

slaughter of, 167, 316 f. 
Anjan, the magic coUyrium, 2(i5 f-, 

Anka, Anna, a nurse, 25. 
Anointing, 43, 48, 53, 66, 67, 68, 72, 

88. ' _ 
Ansab, a title of denomination, 29. 
AntI, a necklace, 64 ; worn by 

Faqirs, 168. 
Antimony : see Surma ; legend of 

its origin, 307. 
'Anwan, a title of honour, 29. 
Aqalbar, the Indian shot plant, 

'Aqd-i-nikah, the marriage con- 
tract, 76. 
'Aqlq, cornelian, 150 ; 'aqiqu-1- 

babr, Mocha stone, 150. 



'Aqiqa, the shaving rite of chil- 
dren, 38 ff. 
Arab invasions of India, 5. 
'Arafa, the vigil of a festival, 108, 

203, 214. 
'Arafat, the mountain near Mecca, 

115, 119. 
Araish, the wedding decorations, 

Areca nut, 330. 
Argaja, a fragrant powder, 104, 

106, 189 ; how made, 310. 
Arhal din ka jhonpra, a mosque at 

Ajmer, 149. 
'Arsh, the ninth Heaven, 151. 
Arti, the Hindu waving rite, 45 

note 1. 
'Asa, the stick on which the 

preacher leans, 147. 
Asafoetida, used in childbirth, 23. 
Asaru-sh-sharif, mubarak, the 

relics of the Prophet, 190. 
Asebwali, a woman possessed by 

the fairies, 270. 
Ashabu-1-Kahf, the Seven Sleepers, 
_137f.; 242. 
'Ashura, the tenth or ten days of 

the Muharram festival, 151 ; 

'ashurkhana, a shed for the 

Muharram standards, 157. 
'Asr ki namaz, afternoon prayer, 

Assassins, the, 13. 
Astaghfiru-llah, the asking for 

forgiveness, 76. 
Astana, the shrine of a Saint, 140, 

196, 216 ; a Faqirs' lodging, 157. 
Astrology, use of in marriage, 59 ff. 
Athletics, 337. 

'Attar, a perfumer, maker of brace- 
lets, 168. 
Attributes, the, of God, 219. 
Aurad, devotional exercises, 298. 
Aurangzeb, the Emperor, 6 ; his 

birth knot, 47 ; his being 

weighed, 191 ; sacrifice at the 

Baqar 'Id festival, 215. 
Autad, a class of Faqirs, 287. 
Awan, the companion of kings, 

Awwa', the wife of Satan, 233. 
Aya, a ladies' maid, 25. 

Ayatu-1-Kursi, the Throne verse, 

238, 269 ; fath, of victory, 231. 
'Ayaziyan, a household of Saints, 

Ayenar, the demon, 140 n. 1. 
'Ayisha, the wife of the Prophet, 78. 
'Aza, visits of condolence after a 
_ death, 105. 
Azad, free, a class of Faqirs, 168, 

Azan, the call to prayer, 15, 24, 

128 ff. 
'Azrail, 'Izrail, the Angel of Death, 

90, 101. 

Baba Budan : see Budan Baba. 

Baba Ghor, 140. 

Baba Lai, the Saint, 140 ; Baba- 

wali Kandhari, the Saint, 145. 
Babune pulao, a kind of stew, 319. 
Babur, the Emperor, his invasion 

of India, 5, 10 ; record of his 

death, 91. 
Backgammon, 332. 
Baddhi, a belt, necklace, marriage 

garland, 172, 194, 195, 311. 
Badhna, badhni, a metal water- 
pot with a spout, 49, 54, 55 »., 

92, 126, 317. 
Badkash, a fan carried by Faqirs, 

Badshah, a king, in cards, 336. 
Bagh, a tiger, a Muharram Faqir, 

176 ; bagh bakri, the game of 

tiger and goat, 337. 
Baghara, baghari, baghama, frying 

rice or pulse in butter, 320, 321. 
Baghli, the side chamber in a 

grave, 99. 
Baghnakh, a tiger's claws orna- 
ment, 255. 
Bagla, bagula, the paddy bird, a 

Muharram Faqir, 174, 316. 
Bahau-d-din Zikaria, the Saint, 

140 f . 
Bahawal Haqq, the Saint, 175. 
Bahllm, a form of vow, 135. 
Bahora, the third day marriage 

rite, 82. 
Bahri, the peregrine falcon, 315 : 

see BJiiri Shah. 
Bain^ a revocable divorce, 86. 



Bairagan, a crooked stick carried 

by ascetics, 293. 
Bairam, the festival, 211. 
Baithak, a women's seance, 139. 
Baitu-llah, the house of God at 

Mecca, 117. 
Bajrbattii, the umbrella-bearing 

palm, 150. 
Bakhtyar Kaki, the Saint, 289. 
Balaen lena, the waving rite to 

disperse evil, 45, 63. 
Balar, country beans, 266, 321. 
Baldar, twisted bread, 322. 
Baligh hona, to come of age, 63. 
Baloch tribe, the, religious beliefs, 
7 ; predicting the sex of an 
expected child, 19 ; care of the 
umbilical cord, 22 ; tonsure of 
children, iO ; dressing of chil- 
dren, 51 ; custom at puberty of 
girls, 53 ; proofs of virginity, 82 ; 
divorce, 87 ; protection of 
graves, 100 ; primitive mosques, 
147 ; cenotaphs at the Muhar- 
ram festival, 163 ; wearing of the 
hair, 304. 
Bam, an eel, 316. 
Bambii, an opium pipe, 325. 
Bandanawaz, the Saint, 210. 
Bang, the call to prayer, 15, 24, 
128 ff. ; Bangi, the caller to 
prayer, 129. 
Bangles of a widow broken at her 

husband's death, 95, 106. 
Bangli, bangri, a glass bangle, 164 ; 
bangrihar, a bangle -maker, 292. 
Banniichi tribe, the, waving rite, 
45 m. 1 ; cohabitation after 
betrothal, 65 ; rite at marriage, 
76 ; tablet buried with the dead, 
101 n. 1. 
Baoll, a gold ring, 182. 
Baqar 'Id, the festival, 52, 214 £E. ; 
leader of prayer at, 77 ; Fatiha 
said for the dead, 108. 
Baqirkhani, a kind of bread, 321. 
Baqiu-1-gharkad, a cemetery at 

Medina, 156. 
Barahmasi, a permanent Faqir, 

Barah Wafat, the festival, 167, 
188 ff 

Barchhi, a lance carried by Faqirs, 

Bari, gifts sent to the bride, 70. 
Baron men milna, to come of age, 

Barrenness, remedies to remove, 

17 f., 158. 
Barzakhi, a sword carried in pro- 
cession at theMuharramfestival, 
160, 162. 
Basant-panchami festival, the, 191. 
Bashar', Faqirs within the Law, 

Bashshir, the news-bringer, the 
Angel who examines dead Musal- 
mans, 101. 
Basi khana, food kept over from 

the previous day, 321. 
BasU, twig of, fixed on the grave, 

100 ; wood, 150. 
Bater, the quaU, 320. 
Bath, the Fairy, 268 f. ; public, 
82 n. 1 ; an tmfit place of 
prayer, infested by the Jinn, 
Bathing, rules for, 36, 187 ; in 

magic, 266. 
Batta, a roller for grinding hemp, 

Batu-l-muhassar, a place near 

Mecca, 119. 
Bawa, father, a title of Faqirs, 171; 

Piyara, a Saint, 293. 
Bayat, the initiation of disciples, 

283, 296. 
Bayazid BastamI Taifiir, the Saint, 

Baz, the goshawk, 315. 
Bazl, in magic, gifts to avoid 

calamity, 223. 
Bazu, bazuband, an armlet, 172, 

Beads, 150. 

Beard, the, rule regarding, 303 f. ; 
dyeing of, 305 ; used in charms, 
Beating, mock of bride and bride- 
groom, 81 : see Flogging. 
Beg, a Mughal title, 176. 
Begam, a title of women, 28. 
Begar, tinfoil, 171. 
Begging, in ritual, 138 f., 181, 182. 



Behmata, Mother Fate, 37. 
Benainazi ana, the coming of the 

menses, 53. 
Benawa, possessing no worldly 

goods, a class of Faqirs, 168, 289. 
Bengal, Musalmans in, 1. 
Benjamin, benzoin, fumigation 

with, 94, 219, 266, 273, 311. 
Ber, the jujube tree, 92, 338. 
Bera, a raft set afloat to carry 

away ill luck, 136. 
Beri, a ring, 194. 
Besan, gram flour, 322. 
Beshar', Faqirs outside the law, 

Betel, 62 ; preparation of, 329 f . ; 

eaten sacramentally, 62, 330 ; 

nuts used in charms, 243, 270. 
Betrothal, 62 ff. : cohabitation 

after, 65. 
Bhabhut, cowdung ashes, 173, 236. 
BhagwT, red ochre, a Faqir's quilt 

dyed with, 293. 
Bhanda, a pot ; a rite after birth, 

Bhandara, a storehouse, share, 67 ; 

Bhandari Shah, the steward of 

a band of Faqirs, 170. 
Bhang, a preparation of hemp, 285, 

291, 316; how used, 326. 
Bharang, Bharbhariya, Foolish 

Chatterer, a Muharram Faqir, 

Bhat, the tribe of minstrels and 

bards, 13. 
Bhat, boiled rice, 78, 321. 
Bhaunrl, a hair curl, 25. 
Bhend, the pith of Aeschjniomene 

aspera, 73. 
Bhiri Shah, Bahri Shah, King 

Hawk, a Muharram Faqlr, 174. 
Bhojpattar, birch bark, used for 

writing charms, 254. 
Bhujband, an armlet, 179. 
Bhuni Khichari, roasted pulse and 

rice, 321. 
Bibi, a lady ; bibia, the queen, in 

cards, 336. 
Biclihua, bichhiya, a scorpion- 
shaped toe-ring, 172. 
Bid'at, an innovation in religious 

practice, 204, 303. 

Bidhimata, Mother Fate, 37. 

Bier, the, 95. 

Bihisht, Paradise, 151 ; Bihishti, 
a water-can'ier, 135. 

Bilal, the first caller to prayer, 128. 

Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, 306. 

Bira, a packet of betel, 329. 

Bir-al-Nabi, the Apostle's well at 
Medina, 118. 

Birds, used and prohibited as food, 

Bir-i-Zamzam, the holy well at 
Mecca, 118. 

Birthdays, 46 f. ; birth rites, 17 ff. 

Biryani, a fry, a kind of stew, 320. 

Bi'smiUah, the invocation, the 
initiation rite for children, 43 ff. ; 
Khwani, teaching a child to in- 
voke God, 43. 

Blood, of victims, disposal of, 215 
n. 1 ; of birds and animals used 
in magic, 266. 

Blowing on, magic by, 119, 229, 
230, 237, 259, 284 : see Breathing. 

Boats, set afloat to carry away ill 
luck, 38, 67, 135 : see Enfts. 

Bohra caste, the, 12 ; burial cus- 
toms, 98 ; form of prayer, 1 10 ; 
wearing of jewellery, 313. 

Bol, myrrh, 23. 

Bones of victims not broken, 38. 

Bota, a piece of meat, 40 ; botan, 
the rite of first feeding a child, 

Boys, presentation of to friends, 24. 

Bracelet, untied at marriage, 82. 

Brahul tribe, the, religious belief, 
7 ; desire for male offspring, 17 ; 
cure of barrenness, 18 ; rite in 
seventh month of pregnancy, 21; 
posture of mother in child birth, 
21 ; disposal of the umbilical 
cord, 22 ; head moulding of 
children, 25 ; protection of the 
child from evil spirits, 37 ; wean- 
ing of children, 40 ; I'ite when a 
child begins to walk, 41 ; cir- 
cumcision, 48 ; disjiosal of the 
foreskin, 40 ; female circum- 
cision, 50 ; cousin marriage, 57 ; 
articles claimed for the bride, 71 ; 
dower, 71, 75 ; consummation 



of marriage, 82 ; anointing the 
corpse, 93 ; iron placed on the 
corpse, 93 ; form of the grave, 
99 ; mourning, 105 ; Muharram 
shrines, 163. 

Bread, 321. 

Breast-beating in mourning, 158, 
159, 161, 163, 184, 207. 

Breathing on, magic by, 51 : see 

Bride, the selection of, 58 ; quali- 
ties required, 58 ; veiling of, 85 ; 
visits to her parents' house, 85. 

Bridegrooms, the sacred, 161. 

Bridge of Death, the, 214 : see Al- 

Broom, the, used in magic, 24. 

BQ 'All Qalandar, the Saint, 137, 
145, 295. 

Budan Baba, the Saint, 140, 145. 

Buddha, Buddhi, Old Man, Old 
Woman, Muharram Faqirs, 176. 

Buildings, religious, 144 ff. 

Bulaq, a ring fixed in the nose 
cartilage, 182, 314. 

Biint, gram, 320. 

Buraq, the animal on which the 
Prophet rode, 157, 166, 189, 202. 

Burburga Shah, KingDoubledrum, 
a Muharram Faqir, 180. 

Burglars, charms used by, 243. 

Burial, immediate, 91 ; rites fol- 
lowing, 104 S. 

Burton, Sir R., initiated into the 
Qadiriya order, 288. 

Buruj, the signs of the Zodiac, 

BiitI, a preparation of hemp, 326. 

Byah, marriage, 65. 

Byajkhor, the usurer, a Muharram 
Faqir, 176. 

Camphor, used in washing the 
corpse, 92, 93, 95. 

Capture, marriage by, 57 f. ; mock 
resistance to the bridegroom, 
73 f. 

Cardamoms, used in sending mes- 
sages, 45. 

Cards, the game, 335. 

Caste, in Islam, 9 ; charms used at 
meetings of, 244. 

Castigation, a remedy in spirit 

seizures, 18, 237. 
Cats, considered dangerous, 24, 50, 

219 ; blood of, used in magic, 

Cenotaphs at the Muharram festi- 
val, 163 ff. ; disposal of, 182 f. ; 

dipped in water, 183. 
Chabiitra, a raised platform, 129. 
Chagatai, a division of theMughals, 

Chaharshamba, akhiri, festival, 

186 f. 
Chakar, an iron ring worn on the 

head by Faqirs, 173. 
Chakki, a flour-mill, namawarl, 
awari, the flour-mill rite at 

marriage, 70 ; Chakki, chakri, 

a bandalore, 337. 
Chakoli, a meat stew, cakes, 68, 

204, 320. 
Chalaii, fried rice, 321. 
Chalpak, a cake fried in oil or 

butter, 322. 
Chaman, a flower garden, 164, 284. 
Chamar, ayak-tailfly-fiapper, 179. 
Chamarin, a midwife, 22, 25. 
Chamber, side, in a grave, 99. 
Chameli, the Jasmine flower, 164. 
Chamelion, the, flesh used in 

charms, 243. 
Chana, gram, 23, 320. 
Chanarpisi, a game, 334. 
Chandal mandal, a game, 335. 
Chandni, a canopy, 269. 
Chandu, a preparation of opium, 

Chapati, cakes of unleavened 

bread, 321. 
Charaghan, chiraghan, a lamp 
estival, 193, 216 ; charaghi, 

chiraghi, lamp money, 52, 169 ; 

charaghdan, chiraghdan, a lamp- 
holder at a grave, 102. 
Charakhpuj a, the swinging festival, 

Charan, the tribe of bards, 13. 
Charas,a preparation of hemp, 326. 
Charcoal, a protective, 26. 
Charhava, Charhaua, presents at 

marriage, 63. 
harmela : see Chilmili. 



Charms, 242 ; recited backwards, 

246 ; drunk, 187, 244, 254, 259. 
Char Pir, the four Saints, 287. 
Charshamba, akhiri, the festival, 

186 f. ; i-suri, the Day of Judge- 
ment, 187. 
Charyar, charyari, a title of the 

Sunni sect, 14. 
Chastity tests, 20, 69, 166. 
Chatni Shah, King Pickles, a 

Muharram Faqlr, 176. 
Chaugan, the game of polo, 336. 
Chauk baithna, bharna, a meeting 

of Faqirs, filling the square at 

marriage, 66, 198. 
Chaupar, the game, 335. 
Chausar, the game, 334 f. 
Chauthi, the iourth day marriage 

rite, 82. 
Chawal, rice, 321. 
Chengiz Khan, 10. 
Chess, 331 f. 
Chhalapdar, an Order of Faqirs, 

Chhanda, a share, offering, 67. 
Chharl, chhathi, a switch, 169, 286, 

293, 297. 
Chhathi, the sixth day birth rite, 

Chhinka, a net to hold food, 81. 
Chhochha, a nurse, 25. 
Chhuehak, birth gifts, 36. 
Chhuri, a knife, 294. 
Chihal abdal, the forty holy men, 

278 ; Chihaltan, a class of 

Jalaliya Faqirs, 292. 
Chiksa, perfumed powder, 36, 43, 

53, 66 ; Composition of, 309. 
Chil Jhapatta, a game of children, 

Chlla, a thin pulse cake, 322. 
Chilam, the bowl of a tobacco pipe, 

326, 328, 329; chilamchi, a 

metal basin, 78. 
Childbirth, position of the woman 

in, 21. 
Children, forecasting sex of, 19 f. ; 

presentation of, 24 f . ; head 

moulding, 25 ; care of, 26 ; 

naming of, 26 ff. ; protection of, 

37 ; shaving, 38 ff. ; cradling, 

40 ; first feeding, 40 f. ; lacta- 

tion, 25 f., 40 ; magic to procure, 

139, 158 f., 162, 181, 182, 193 f. ; 

bom by foot presentation, 265 ; 

games, 337 f . 
Chilla, forty days' seclusion after 

childbirth, 24 ; seclusion by a 

Faqir, 144 ; a shrine, 216. 
Chilmili, charmela, the Brazil 

cherry, 150. 
Chindi Shah, King Ragman, a 

Muharram Faqlr, 180. 
Chippi, the calabash of a turtle, 

Chiraghan : see Charaghan ; chira- 

ghdan : see Gharaghddn ; chir- 

aghi : see Chardghi. 
Chiriya, a bird, the clubs, in cards, 

Chishti, a household of Saints, 288 f. 
Cholera, the goddess of, 8 ; exor- 
cism of, 193. 
Choli, a woman's bodice, 46. 
Cholna, short breeches, 180. 
Chonti, choti, the scalplock, 39, 

135, 292, 303. 
Chorhaldi, the secret anointing at 

marriage, 66. 
ChotI : see Chonti. 
Christians, men of the Book, 14 ; 

eating with, 316 ; hell reserved 

for, 152. 
Chugd, the larger owl, 266. 
Cliulao, a kind of stew, 319. 
Churwa, rice cooked and dried in 

the sun, 169. 
Circles, magic, 235 ff. 
Circumambulation, 117, 179. 
Circumcision, male, 48 ff. ; female, 

18, 50 ; mock, 49. 
Clitorodectomy, 50. 
Clothes, 300 ff., dirty, worn at 

marriage, 68 ; j oined at marriage, 

76 ; changing fashions, 300 f . ; 

new, wearing of, 302. 
Cloves, used in charms, 244. 
Cocldighting, 337. 
Coconut, the, used in charms, 73 ; 

representing a human victim, 

167 n. 1 ; the sea, 286. 
Coffin, the, 95. 

Coins, used tofacilitate delivery, 2 1 . 
CoUyrium, magic, 265 f., 268. 



Colours, symbolical, at marriage, 
64 ; in mourning, 106 ; of dress, 

Coming of age, 53 fE. 

Confarreatio, in marriage, 68, 80. 

Consummation of marriage, 54, 82. 

Coral, 150. 

Cord, the umbilical, cutting and 
disposal of, 22 ; charmed, 262, 
269 : see Threads. 

Corpse, the, binding of, 91 ; wash- 
ing, 91 ff. ; removed through a 
hole in the wall, 96 ; manner in 
which it falls, 209. 

Cousin marriage, 57. 

Cow, the plundering of, 196 ; 
slaughter, 2\5n.\; of plenty, 166. 

Cowry shells, 333. 

Cradles hung at shrines to cure 
barrenness, 18 n. 2 ; cradling a 
child, 40. 

Crawling of a child, 41. 

Creed, the, 90, 110. 

Cremation ground, the, ashes from, 
used in charms, 243, 246. 

Cup, charmed, detects thieves, 276. 

Curds, 324. 

Curry, 323 f . ; powder, 324. 

Dadmahall, palace of Justice, 

erected at the Muharram, 157, 

Daf, a tambourine, 172, 177. 
Dahez, the bride's paraphernalia, 

Dahi, curdled milk, 69, 324 ; barl, 

pulse flour cooked in curds, 322. 
Dahliz khundlana, threshold 

treading at marriage, 64. 
Dai, a nurse, janal, dudh pilal, 

khilai, asll, 25. 
Da'ira fatiha, a prayer for all the 

dead in a cemetery, 101; da'ira- 

wala, the Ghairmahdl sect, 209. 
Da], an ankle ornament worn by 

Faqirs, 169, 173, 285 f. 
Dam Madar ! the cry, ' Breath of 

Madar ! ' 195. 
DamanI, dawani, a veil worn at 

marriage, 66 ; part of a woman's 

shroud, 94. , 

Dampukht, steamed, of stews, 319. 

Dancing girls, names of, 28. 
Dant nikalna, ghiingni, the teething 

rite for children, 41. 
Dantan, a tooth twig, 306. 
Dargah, a Saint's tomb, a shrine, 

40, 144. 
Darhi, the beard, 304. 
Darja, a grade, the introduction to 

the Fatiha, 170. 
Darshaniya sect, funeral customs, 

Daru-1-jalal, one of the seven 

Heavens, 152 ; salam, one of 

the seven Heavens, 152 ; harb, 

land of enmity, 212. 
Dasahra, a Hindu festival, 167. 
Dashtbala Karbala, 156. 
Dasim, he that (jauses enmity 

between man and wife, 233. 
Dasmasi, men who act as Faqirs 

at the Muharram festival, 171. 
Dastagir, Dastgir, the Saint, 137, 

192 ff. 
Dastarkhwan, a tablecloth, 44, 78, 

188, 201, 233, 318. 
Dastbozi, hand kissing, 213. 
Dastpanah, tongs carried by 

Faqirs, 173. 
Daswin, the tenth daj'of mourning, 

Data, giver, a title of Faqirs, 171. 
Daula Shah, the Saint, 14]. 
Dauna, a leaf platter, 136. 
Daur, in magic, repetition of a 

spell, 223. 
Daurahabardar, the messenger 

attached to a mosque, 149. 
DawalShah, the Saint, 138. 
Dawani : see Ddmani. 
Da'wat, an invitation, 45 ; in- 
vocation of spirits, 218. 
Days, lucky and unlucky, 8, 31, 

280 ; forbathing, 306. 
Death, rites, 89 ff. ; euphemism 

for death, 91 ; papers placed in 

the grave, 98 ; the fortieth day, 

107 ; charms to cause, 245 f. 
Dee, Jolm, his holy stone and 

magic mirror, 264 ti. 1. 
Degchi, a cooking pot, 317. 
Degrees prohibited, in marriage, 




Demons, names of, 224 ; summon- 
in£f of, 218 ; charms against, 

258, 260. 
Dentifrice, 72, 306. 
Depilatories, 68, 305. 
Destiny of a child recorded, 36, 37. 
Devils, casting out of, 235 ; annoy- 
ance from, 241 f. 
Dhaingana, a forfeit, 74. 
Dhal Sahib, the shield paraded at 

the Muharram, 160. 
Dhammal kQdna, to jump through 

fire, 195 f. 
Dhaniya, coriander, 236. 
Dhara, dice, 335. 
Dhatura, the thorn apple, 327. 
Dhimar, a fishing caste, food 

customs, 182. 
Dhol, dholak, dhoJlii, a drum, 139, 

Dhoti, the waist-cloth, 169. 
Dhuni, a fire round which Faqirs 

sit, 290. 
Dice, 335. 

Did, beholding, a Siifl term, 298. 
Didar Pir, the Saint, 135. 
Din, the Faith, 48, 110, 184, 213. 
Dinar, the denarius, a coin, 114. 
Dirham, a weight, one drachm, 

coin, 316. 
Disease, exorcism of, 193. 
Divall, the Hindu festival of lights, 

18, 19, 85. 
Divine Faith, the, of Akbar, 6. 
Divorce, 86 ff. 
Diwankhana, a reception hall, 

Dog, excluded at childbirth and 

circumcision, 22, 24, 50, 219. 
Dogoshta pulao, a stew of two 

kinds of meat, 319. 
Dola, doli, a litter, bier, 96 ; a 

second rank wife, 87. 
Dom, Domni, the singer caste, 80, 

Dopatta, a double sheet, scarf, 296, 

Dopiyaza, a stew with a double 

quantity of onion, 323. 
Doshala, a double shawl, 296. 
Dost, friend, an official in a band of 

Faqirs, 170. 

Dove, the, connected with the 

Muharram, 165 n. 2. 
Dower, 57. 
Dress, of bride and bridegroom, 

measiu-ing for, 69 ; of pilgrims, 

115 ; materials of, 300 ; fashions, 

300 ; of men and women, 300 ff. 
Drinking, of spirits forbidden, 

316 ; of charms, 187, 244, 254 ; 

posture in, 316. 
Du'a, private prayer, 97, 110; 

i-qvmiit, of praise, 76, 133 ; 

i-ma'siir, for remission of sins, 

Diidh, milk ; ka mahina, the 

month of Ramazan, 211. 
Diila : see Dvlha : Shah, the 

Saint, 141. 
Dulha, Diila, the bridegroom, 

Dulhin, the bride, 65 ; the 

bridegroom, representing Qasim 

at Miiharram, 158. 
Dumb-bells, 337. 
Dur, a gold ring, 182. 
Durga puja, a Hindu festival, use 

of pots at, 69 w. 1. 
Durud, the Blessing, 52, 55, 131, 

161, 170, 189, 193, 204, 213, 288. 
Duzakh, HeU, 151. 
Duzanii, sitting on the knees, 270. 
Dyeing the hair, 305. 

Eaglewood, 310. 

Ear, piercing of, 41 f. ; rings, 

origin of, 314 ; dilating, 314 ; 

worn by women, 314. 
Earth, eating, 19 ; used in purifica- 
tion, 121, 127. 
Eclipses, usages at, 19, 65. 
Education of children, 51 f. 
Elegies recited at the Muharram : 

see Marsiya. 
Endogamy, 9. 

Enmity, charms to produce, 245. 
Ethnology of Indo-Musalmans, 

Eunuchs, Saint of, 192. 
Eve, 78, 233, 248 : see Haiviva'. 
Evil Eye, the, dangers from and 

precautions against, 19, 23, 66, 

68, 73, 177, 311, 314. 
Exogamy, 9. 



Exorcism, methods of, 235 ff. ; 
trickery by exorcists, 239, 242. 
Eyes, the, care of, 307. 

Fairy Bath, the, 268 f . ; Tray, 
269 f . ; charms against fairies 
and demons, 258. 

Faiz-i-billah, ships offering free 
passages to pilgrims, 115. 

Fajr ki namaz, prayer before sun- 
rise, 110, 111. 

Fal, an omen, 61. 

Fanus, a lamp shade carried at 
the Muharram festival, 165. 

Faqirs, Orders of, 287 ff. ; at the 
Muharram, 108 ff. 

Farangi, Frankish, chess, 331. 

Farid, Shaikh, tomb of, 144 ; the 
Saint of Girar, 145 ; Faridu-d- 
din Shakarganj, the Saint, 141, 
289 ; buti, a plant, 144. 

Farrash, a carpet-spreader, 149, 

Faruqi, a section of the Sayyids, 

Farz, obligatory. 111 ; Kifai, im- 
perative, 96. 

Fashar-i-qabr, the squeezing of 
the dead in the tomb, 101. 

Fasting, in Ramazan, benefits of, 
112; after a death, 91, 105; 
before working magic, 220 ; 
rules of, 112 ; at the Muharram, 

Fatiha, the first chapter of the 
Koran, said over food, 25, 26, et 
passim ; niyat khair ka, 63, 102. 

Fatima, daughter of the Prophet, 
14, 78 ; ancestress of the Say- 
yids, 9 ; her pot rite, 20 ; her 
dish, 69 r use of dentifrice, 72, 
306 ; her tablecloth rite, 138 ; 
daughter of Husain, 161 ; her 
standard, 162. 

Feast, marriage, 78 f . ; death, 105. 

Feet-washing of bride and bride- 
groom, 81 f. 

Fertility charms, 66, 67, 81, 83, 
84 f. : see Barrenness. 

Festivals special to certain castes, 

Fever, charms against, 242 f . 

Fidai, Fidawi, the, 13. 

' Fig leaf ' worn by children, 314. 

Tights, sham, 81, 204. 

Fingers, use of, 126 ; prognostica- 
tion by, 280 ; in counting, 149, 

Firdaus, Paradise, 152 ; Firdau- 
siyan, a household of saints, 288. 

Fire, lighted in the delivery room, 
21 ; ordeal of walking through, 
158, 195 f. ; see Alawa ; kept 
by Faqirs, 290 ; fire-pit, the, 
135, 158, 182 : see Alawa. 

Fireworks at festivals, 203 f. 

Fimi, fimi, a hasty pudding, 40. 

Firoz Shah Bahmani, rule about 
temporary marriages, 57 n. 5 ; 
Tughlaq, of Delhi, deeds buried 
with Muhammad Shah, 98 ; 
prohibits visits to graves, 104 ; 
repairs shrine of Mas'ud GhazT, 
201 ; order about the Khutba, 

Fish, used as food, 316 ; the 
standard, 160. 

Fitra, alms, 211, 212. 

Five, the Sacred : see Punjtan. 

Flesh, lawful and unlawful, 315. 

Flogging in exorcism, 237 : see 

Flowers, uses of, 311 f. 

Food, 315 ff. ; for the dead, 99, 
101, 104, 106 f., 184, 190; for 
mother and child, 23 f . ; re- 
strictions in use of, 315 ; not 
cooked in the house of the dead, 

Footprints, of Abraham, 117; of 
the Prophet, 141, 160, 188 f. ; 
children bom by the foot pre- 
sentation, 265. 

Foreskin, precautions regarding,49. 

Forty days' impurity after child- 
birth, 37. 

Foster mothers, 25 f. 

Friday, the Sabbath, prayers, 
206 f., 282. 

Fruit Tray, the magic, 270, 272. 

Fumigation, of children, 26 ; in 
magic, 236 : see Benjamin. 

Funeral, the, 96 ; moving rapidly, 
96 ; obligation to attend, 96. 




Furat, the Euphrates, 156. 
Fuzai] bin 'Ayaz, the Saint, 288. 

Gabriel, the Angel, brings the 
revelation from Heaven, 9 f. ; 
saves Ishmael, 121 ; changes 
direction of prayer, 123 ; con- 
veys the Prophet to Heaven, 

Gahwara, a child's cradle, 40. 

Gai lutana, to plunder the cow in 
honour of Shah Madar, 196. 

Gajar, gajra, a carrot-shaped 
bracelet, garland, 168, 169, 311. 

Gakkhar tribe, infanticide, 17 n. 1. 

Games, played at marriage, 80 f . ; 
games described, 331 ff. ; of 
children, 337 f . 

Ganda, a charmed thread used in 
magic, 273. 

Ganja, a preparation of hemp, 
285, 316 ; how made, 326. 

GanjI, rice gruel, 321. 

Ganjifa, cards, 335. 

Ganthjora, joining the clothes of 
the pair at marriage, 76. 

Gaodlda, gaozaban, cow's eye, 
tongue, kinds of bread, 321. 

Gardani, a neck ring, 47. 

Garuri Shah, a snake-charmer, 
Muharram Faqir, 180. 

Gayan, a singing woman, 28. 

Gazriiniyan, a household of Saints, 

Gehenna, 152. 

Gendgahvara, a flower garland, 
182, 312 ; Gend Badshah, 271. 

Genethliacal scheme, a, 30. 

Gerii, lal, red ochre, 172. 

Gesudaraz, the Saint, 141, 210. 

Ghabr, fire-worshippers, 152. 

Ghadii- Khum, a halting place for 
caravans, 217. 

Ghagri, a brass ring, 179 ; -wala, 
a class of Faqirs, 179. 

Ghair-i-Mahdi, sect, 15, 208 f. ; 
ghair muqallid, a nonconform- 
ist, a Wahhabi, 3. 

Ghaliz Shah, King Filth, a Muhar- 
ram Faqir, 180. 

Ghanti, strips of cloth, tinkling 
bells, worn on the ankles, 172. 

Ghasil, Ghassal, a corpse-washer, 

Ghaus, a leading Faqir, 287 ; 

Ghausu-1-a'zam, the Saint, 192. 
GhazIMiyan, the Saint, 9, 67, 141, 

195 f. 
Ghirka, a game of children, 337. 
Ghor Baba, the Saint, 140. 
Ghuggu, an owl, 266. 
Ghulam, a slave, 112 ; the knave, 

in cards, 336. 
Ghiirona, to revolve in a circular 

dance, 172 ; ghiim, a game of 

children, 337. 
Ghiinghat, a woman's veil, 85. 
Ghungni, stirabout, 41. 
Ghungrii, ghunghru, a beU anklet, 

172, 271. 
Ghusl, the major ablution, 54, 82, 

92, 125, 147. 
GhuttI, cleansing medicine given 

to a baby, 24. 
Gil-i-sar-shiii, head-cleansing clay, 

Giias, a metal glass, 317. 
Gilli danda, the game of tipcat, 

Girda, round-shaped loaves of 

bread, 321. 
Girls, naming of, 28. 
God, the ninety-nine names of, 

255 ff. 
God, the bride's lap filled with 

fruit, 66 f . 
Gola, a savoury meat baU, 322. 
Gold, use of in jewellery, 313. 
Golgumbaz mosque at Bijapur,147. 
Gom, the centipede flag of the 

Saint Qadirwali Sahib, 198. 
Gophan, gophiya, guphna, a sling, 

used in scaring birds, 338. 
Gorakhdhandha, a ring puzzle 

carried by Faqirs, 294. 
Gosain, a Hindu ascetic Order, 

159, 290. 
Goshanishin, one who secludes 

himself for praj^er, 207. 
Got, a present, 25 ; got, goti, cones 

used in playing Pachisi, 333. 
Gota, lace, 173. 
Grave, the, 98 ff. ; lamentations 

at forbidden, 104. 



Green, the colour, 168, 169 ; worn 

by Sayyids, 303. 
Gudaku, tobacco, 328. 
Guga, Gugga, the Saint, 202. 
Guides, spiritual, 283 ff. 
Gul, unsmoked tobacco, a ball for 

lighting a pipe, 306, 329. 
Gulab, rose-water, 91, 310. 
Gulathi, rice boiled with butter, 

Gulgula, sweet cakes fried in 

butter, 187, 322. 
Guli, coral, 150. 

Gulqand, conserve of roses, 328. 
Guliiband, a neck scarf, 173, 291. 
Gumbad, gumbaz, the dome of a 

mosque, 147. 
Gun-firing after a birth, 23 ; at 

the 'ldu-1-fitr festival, 213. 
Gurakii, tobacco, 285, 328. 
Gurji, breeches worn by Faqirs, 

Guroh, a band of Faqirs, 169. 
Gurz, a mace, 101 ; Gurzmar, an 

Order of Faqirs, 194, 290. 

Habib 'Ajami, the Saint, 287 f . ; 
Habibiyan,ahousehold of Saints, 

Hadis, the Traditions of the Pro- 
phet, 3. 

Hadiya, a gift given to a tutor, 52. 

HafEan, the patron of wine-bibbers, 

Hafiz, the poet, 29 n. 2, 61 ; one 
who knows the Koran by rote, 
32, 105, 206. 

Hagar, stories of, 118, 314. 

Hair, dedicated at a Saint's tomb, 
8, 135 ; taboo against oiling or 
combing, 24 ; parting of a 
mother's, 35 ; weighing of, 39 ; 
plaiting of, 43, 68 ; unplaited 
at marriage, 83; cuttings buried, 
121 ; the seat of strength, 237 
n. 1 ; mode of arranging, 303 S. ; 
parting smeared with red lead, 

Haiz, the menses, 53. 

Hajar : see Hagar. 

Hajaru-1-aswad, the Black Stone 
at Mecca, 117. 

Haji, Hajji, a pilgrim, 115 ; Hajj, 
pilgrimage, 109 ; Haji Ahmak, 
Hsiji Bewuquf, the Pilgrim 
Fool, a Muharram Faqir, 175. 
Hajiiluha, a marriage song, 80. 
Hakim, the Physician, a Muhar- 
ram Faqir, 176. 
Hal, breath, mystic ecstasy, 158. 
Halal, lawful, flesh of animals 
slaughtered according to the 
ritual, 316 f. ; Halalkhor, one to 
whom all food is lawful, an out- 
cast, 186. 
Haldi, turmeric, 48 ; chor, the 
secret rubbing, 66 ; sahu, sail, 
the public rubbing, 66 ; used in 
charms, 137. 
Halim pulao, a kind of stew, 320. 
Halqa, a ring, ] 94. 
Halwa, a kind of sweetmeat, 203, 

Hamail, a copy of the Koran used 

as an amulet, 179. 
Hamel, a necklace, shoulder belt, 

Hanafi, Hanifi, a law school, 15 ; 
rule of prayer. 111 ; rule of 
pilgrimage, 115. 
Hanbali, a law school, 16. 
Hand, the spread, carried in pro- 
cession, 159, 193 : see Panja. 
Hands, brought into use after mar- 
riage, 84 ; mode of washing, 318. 
Hanlf Gazriini, founder of a Faqir 
household, 288 ; Hanifi : see 
Hans, hansli, a necklace, 46. 
Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, 

262, 269. 
Har, a flower garland, 312. 
Haram, that which is forbidden. 

Ill, 317. 
Hari bel, green creeper, a ritual 

of betrothal, 63. 
Haris, 156. 
Harjai, one who goes everywhere, 

a prostitute, 28. 
Harwala, the pas gymnastique, 

Hasan, the Imam, 14, 146; 153 ff. ; 

BasrI, Khwaja, the Saint, 287. 
Hashashin, hemp-drinkers, 13. 



Hath bartana, resumption of the 

use of the hands after marriage, 

84 ; Katorewala, a Muharram 

Faqir, 174. 
Haura-kauri, a trifling gift, 171. 
Hauz, the ablution tank in a 

mosque, 147 ; al-kausar, the 

fountain of Paradise, 303. 
Hawiya, one of the seven Hells, 

Hawwa', Eve, 78 ; her magic 

square, 248. 
Haj^at, life, 152. 
Hazari, a rite in honour of Jalalu- 

d-din Bukhari, the Saint, 202. 
Hazirat, invocation of spirits, 265, 

Hazrat Sulaiman, the Saint, 289. 
Head-moulding of infants, 25. 
Heavens, the seven, 152. 
Heirs male, craving for, 17. 
HeUs, the seven, 152. 
Hemp, preparations of, 326. 
Henna, 66, 308 : see Mcnltdi, 

Herklots, G. A., his life, Introd., 

p. XX fi. 
Hijra, a eunuch, 192. 
Himacha, a lamb-skin bag carried 

by Faqirs, 294. 
Hindus joining in Musalman rites, 

8 f. ; charms borrowed from, 

224 n. 2 ; riots with Musal- 

mans at the Muharram, 167. 
Hinnabandi, the second day of 

marriage, 65 f . 
Holi, the, a Hindu festival, 85, 

Horns of animals hung on shrines, 

Horoscopes, 59, 260. 
Horse, flesh, use of, 315 ; shoe 

carried in procession, 162 ; used 

in charms, 23 ; images offered, 

140, 201. 
Howling Dervishes, 290. 
Hubairiyan, a household of Saints, 

Hukama, metaphysicians, 294. 
Hukm, an order, the spades, in 

cards, 336. 
Humayun, the Emperor, 5 ; 

breathing rite, 51 n. 2; re- 
spect for God's name, 255 ; 
regulations regarding days, 280. 

Hunar Husain, Muharram Faqirs 
of, 179. 

Huqqa, the tobacco pipe, 328, 
329 ; huqqa pani band karna, 
to boycott, 328. 

Hiir, the Houri, the damsels of 
Paradise, 272. 

Hurirf-i-tahajji, the letters of the 
Arabic alphabet, 221. 

Husain, the Imam, life of, 153 ff. ; 
Husaini Kabal>, savoiu-y roast 
meat, 322 ; Brahmans, 159. 

Hut-burning in magic, 18. 

Hutama, one of the seven Hells, 

'Ibadat, religious duties, 109. 

Iblis, Satan, 232, 233. 

Ibn Hanbal, 16. 

ibrahim, Abraham, 78 ; foot- 
prints of, 117 ; sacrifice of 
Ishmael, 214 ; Rauza, Bijapur, 
graves in, 103 ; Lodi of Delhi, 
5 ; Adham Balkhi, the Saint, 

'Id, a festival, 211, 214; 'Idgah, 
a place of prayer, 113, 145 f., 
211 ; id-i-ghadir, festival, 216 ; 
qurbani, 05, 211, 214; ul-fitr, 
211 ; i-saghir, 211 ; ul-'umar, 
217; ul-azha, 211, 214: uz- 
zoha, 211, 214; 'IdL festival 
gifts to a tutor, 52, 187. 

'Idda, 'iddat, the period of pro- 
bation after divorce, 87, 106. 

Iftar, the breaking of a fast, 205. 

Ihram, the pilgrim dress, 115, 116. 

Ihtilam, pollutio nocturna, 54, 220. 

Ilacha, ilachi, cardamoms, a mixed 
cotton and silk cloth, 45, 300. 

'Ilm-i-ruhani, spiritualism, 218; 
'ilm-i-'uiwi, rahmani, sifla, 
shaitani, forms of magic, 218. 

Images, magic by means of, 262. 

Imam, a Shi'a leader, 14; a 
prayer-leader, 110, 149, 206; 
imambara, a place for holding 
Muharram rites, 146, 159 ; 
Imamshahi, an Order of Faqirs, 


A a 



296 ; Imamiya, a Shl'a title, 
14 ; Imam Zamin, the pro- 
tector, 137, 160 ; imamzada, 
imamain, a Muharram standard, 

Iman, belief, 109. 

Imli, the tamarind, tree and fruit, 

Impurity after childbirth, 37. 

Incense, use of, 142, 158. 160, 162, 
183, 190, 201, 219, 227, 230, 
274, 311. 

Indra, the Vedic sky god, fairies 
of, 271. 

Infanticide, 17 n. 1. 

Initiation of children, 43 fE. ; of 
Faqirs, 283 ff. 

Int, a brick, the diamond in cards, 

Intoxicants, 325 ff. 

Invisibility, means to secure, 266. 

Invitations, sending of, 43, 45 f. 

Iron, used in charms, 23 ; placed 
on the corpse, 93 ; rej^ells the 
Jinn, 93 n. 3. 

'Isha ki namaz, bedtime prayer, 
111, 206. 

Ishaq, Isaac, 214. 

'Ishraq, early prayer, 111. 

Iskandar, Alexander the Great, 

'IshqbazT, love plav, pigeon-flying, 

Islam, its present position in 
India, 16 ; increase as com- 
pared with Hinduism, 2 ; con- 
version to, 2 ; influenced by 
Hinduism, 7 ; definition of, 
109 ; foundations and duties 
of, 109 ff. 

Ismu-l-'azam, the exalted name of 
God, 208, 219. 

Ismail, Ishmael, sacrifice of, 214 ; 
ibn Ja'f ar, 1 2 ; Ismailiya Bohras, 

Ismid, antimony used for the eyes, 

Ispand, sipand, herb of grace, 
used as a protective, 24, 26, 41, 
50, 311. 

Isra, the night journey of the 
Prophet, 157. 

Tstighfar, istighfani-llah, the for- 
mula of deprecation, 76, 130, 

Istikhara, divination from the 
Koran, or a dream, 29 ??. 2, 61. 

Itch, charm to remove, 259. 

I'tikaf, seclusion for prayer, 207. 

'Itr, rose-water, 79, 94, 187, 269 ; 
preparation of, 310. 

Izar, a waist cloth, drawers, part 
of a man's shroud, 93, 115, 297, 

Izni, a caller, herald, 285 ; Izni 
Shah, the adjutant of a troop of 
Faqirs, 170. 

'Izrall, the Angel of Death, 90, 
245 : see 'Azrdil. 

Jabrail, Gabriel, q.v. 

Jaddi, ancestral, a class of religious 

guides, 296. 
Jadu, the Black Art, 218. 
Ja'faru-s-sadiq, the Veracious 

Imam, 138, 193; Ja'far, king 

of the fairies, 156 ; Ja'far 

Sharif, author of this book, 

Introd., p. xix f. 
Jagir, a plot of rent-free land, 77, 

Jahangir, the Emperor, 6, 310. 
Jahannum. one of the seven Hells, 

Jahaz, a boat let adrift to carry 

away ill luck, 67, 135. 
Jahez, the paraphernalia of the 

bride, 70. 
Jahima, one of the seven Hells, 

Ja-i-namaz, jaenamaz, janamciz, a 

prayer carpet, 130, 150. 
Jalalu-d-din Savyid Bukhari, the 

Saint, 202, 291 ; Jalali, Jalaliya, 

an Order of Faqirs, 142, 175, 

291 f. ; Jalaliya., the terrible 

names of God. 219 ; -Jalal 

Jahanian Jahangasht, the Saint, 

141 f., 259. 
Jali, the screen of a ladies' gaUery 

in a mosque, 148 ; jalimuiband, 

a flower veil, 312. 
Jalwa, jilwa, the displaying of the 

bride, 79. 



Jama, a man's coat, 302. 
Jama'at, a sect, 123 ; Jama'at- 

khana, an assembly lodge, 57, 

208 ; Jama'u-llah. Jam' Allah, 

an Order of Faqirs, 198, 292. 
Jamall, the amiable name of God, 

Jamanjati, the founder of the 

Malang Order of Faairs, 172, 

Jam'dar, a native officer, 213. 
Jami' Masjid, the Cathedral 

Mosque, 147. 
Jamrat-al-akaba, the place of 

pelting, near Mecca, 119. 
Janai, a midwife, 22. 
Janamaz : see Ja-i-namaz. 
Janamganth, the birthday knot, 

46 ; janampattri, a horoscope, 

Janaza, the bier, 95. 
Jannatu-1-khuld, m'awa, na'im, 

firdaus, 'adn, illyiin, various 

Heavens, 152 ; Jannatu-1-baqi , 

cemetery, 156. 
Jat tribe, influence of upon Islam, 

3 ; belief of, 7 ; female circum- 
cision, 50. 
Jeddah, arrangements for pil- 
grims at, 115. 
Jewellery, 313 ff. ; intention of 

wearing, 313. 
Jews, men of the Book, 14 ; 

eating with, 316 ; hell reserved 

for, 152. 
Jhanda, the flag of a Saint, 

Jhar Shah, King Tree, a Muhar- 

ram Faqir, 176; jharbandar, 

a game of children, 338. 
Jhol ka ghara, pots arranged at 

marriage, 69; jhol phoma. to 

break the pots, 71. 
Jhutha, leavings given by a 

teacher to his disciple, 286. 
Jihad, war against the infidel, 109, 

138 n. 2. 
Jilani, the title of 'Abdu-1-qadir, 

the Saint, 192. 
Jilwa, jalwa, the displaying of the 

bride, 79. 
Jima', coitus, 82. 

Jinn, the Genii, frequent baths, 
110 ; part of the earth occupied 
by, 152 ; summoning of Jinn 
and demons, 218 ; names of, 
224, 234 ; their King and troops, 
234 ; classes of, 234 ; charms 
against, 242, 260 ; jinuni, pos- 
sessed by the Jinn, mad, 232. 

Jizya, the poll-tax, 6. 

Job, tomb of, 145. 

Jogi, Hindu ascetics, masters of 
magic, 177, 264. 

Joshi, an astrologer, 260. 

JuabazI, gambling with dice, 335. 

Jubba, a robe, 297. 

Judgement Day, 126, 187. 

Julaha, the weaver caste, 10 ; 
their festival, 211. 

Jum'a, Friday, prayers, 206 ; 
Juma'gi, the Fridays in the 
honeymoon, 84 f . 

Junaid BaghdadI, the Saint, 288 ; 
Junaidiyan, a household of 
saints, 288. 

Junub, impure, 82. 

Jupiter, Dispositions of, 32. 

Juz, a section of the Koran, 52. 

Ka'ba, the mosque at Mecca, 92, 

Kabab, roasted meat, 318, 322. 

Kabbaddi, the game of prisoners' 
base, 338. 

Kabcha, a waistcoat, 300. 

Kabir, the Saint, tomb of, 145. 

Kachkol, a Faqir's cuj) or wallet, 
_ 286, 294. 

Kafa, opium extract, 325. 

Kafan, Kafani, the shroud, 93, 94 ; 
a Faqir's dress, 169, 285. 

Kafgir, a pot-skimmer, 181. 

Kafir, an infidel, 101, 209. 

Kahruba, amber, 150. 

Kaifa, intoxication, 327. 

Kajal, lampblack, 22, 68, 106, 
307 ; how prepared, 308 ; Kaj- 
lauti, a box for holding lamp- 
black, 308. 

Kiikra, a wick, 237. 

Kakul, a long lock of hair, 289. 

Kalas ka mat, pots arranged in the 
mariiage shed, 69. 




Kaleja, kaleji, thu liver of a sheep, 
&c., 36, 323. 

Kalima, the Creed, 24, 110 ; Kali- 
matu-t-taiyib, the comfortable 
words, 90 ; Kalimatu-sh-shaha- 
dat, the word of testimony, 90, 

Kamadhenu, the Hindu cow of 
plenty, 166 n. 2. 

Kamarband, a waist-band, 169, 

Kamkhwab, brocade, 244. 

Kammal Shah, King Blanket, a 
Muharram Faqir, 178. 

Kanchani, a dancing girl, 28, 292. 

Kanchiti, a game of children, 338. 

Kanduri, the tray offering of 
Fatima and Saints, 138, 201. 

Kangan, a bracelet ; kholna, to 
untie at marriage, 82. 

Kanghi, a comb ; Kanghigar, 
a comb -maker ; their festival, 

Kanji, rice gruel, 321. 

Kankawwa urana, to fly kites, 336. 

Kantha, Kanthi, a necklace, 173, 

Kanungli, the little finger, 230. 

Kara, a ring, bracelet, 46, 173, 244. 

Karbala, the scene of the martyr- 
dom, pilgrimage to, 14, 110, 
115 ; Khak-i-Karbala, the holy 
earth from Karbala, 110; Mai- 
dan, the place where the ceno- 
taphs are disposed of, 182. 

Kardala, kardhani, kardora, a 
waist-chain for holding keys, 

Karkhiyan, a household of Saints, 

Kasb, gain, acquirement of know- 
ledge, 298 ; KasbT, a prostitute, 

Kash pulao, a kind of stew, 320 ; 
Khichari (q.v.), 321. 

Katama, a kind of fish, 316. 

Katar, a dirk, 23, 172, 294. 

Kath, wood, 150. 

Katora, a cooking pot, 317. 

Kaura, strong, of tobacco, 329. 

Kawwa Shah, King Crow, a Mu- 
harram Faqir, 174. 

Khadim, an attendant at a shrine, 

Khaini, chewing tobacco, 328. 

Khajiir ka bij, date stones, 150: 
Khajiiri, a loaf shaped like a 
date, 322. 

Khaki, dusty, an Order of Faqirs, 
175 ; Khak-i-Karbala, shafa, 
curative dust from Karbala, 

Khal, a mole on the face, 68. 

Khalafai, successors, religious 
guides, 296; Khalifa, the Cahph, 
leader of a band of Faqirs, 
deputy of a teacher, 170, 297. 

KhalTlu-UUah, Friend of God, 
Abraham, 120. 

Khalji, Khilji djTiasty, the, 5. 

Khamir, leaven ; Khamira, fer- 
mented tobacco, 328 ; Khamiri, 
leavened bread, 321. 

Khamr, an intoxicant, 316. 

Khanam the title of a Mughal 
lady, 11. 

Khandar Shah, King Tatterdema- 
lion, a Muharram Faqir, 180; 
khandari, a Faqir's tattered 
quilt, 180. 

Khanjari, a tambourine, 177. 

Khara, saltish, spicy, of food, 318. 

Kharaiin, wooden shoes, 116. 

Khare pan, betel taken standing, 

Khari, pipeclay, 172. 

Khatib, a preacher, 24, 63, 77, 149, 

Khatim, a seal, 236. 

Khatm, conclasion, in magic, 223 ; 
Khatm-i-Quran, a recital of the 
Koran, 104, 160. 

Khattak tribe, marriage by cap- 
ture, 58. 

Khichari, rice boiled with pulse, 
54, 318; how made, 320 f. 

Khidmati, a mosque attendant, 77. 

Khil'at, a dress of honour, 51, 83^ 
284, 285 n. 1. 

Khir, rice milk, 197 

Khizab, hair dye, 305 

Khizr, the saint, see Khwajd Khizr. 

Khodiin-gariin, Digger and Burier, 
a Muharram Faqir, 178 



Khogir Shah, King Saddle, a Mu- 

harram Faqir, 178. 
Khoja caste, 13 ; marriage by 

purchase, 57 : see Khwaja. 
Khopra, coconut kernel, 41. 
Khurasani women, 86. 
Khushka, boiled rice, 321. 
Khutba, the sermon, bidding 

praj-er, 15, 77, 113, 119, 145, 

207, 212. 
Khwaja caste, the, 13 ; a title, 28 ; 

Khwaja Khizr, the Saint, 38, 

39, 67, 135, 136. 
Kikar, the tree acacia arabica, 262. 
Kinari, lace edging, 173. 
Kiramu-1 Katibin, the Recording 

Angels, 90 
Kishti, a boat, a Faqir's wallet or 

cup, 286, 294. 
Kite-flying, 336. 
Kiwanch, cowhage, 176. 
Knife, used to cut the umbilical 

cord, used as a protective, 22, 24. 
Knots used in magic, 17, 134 f., 

273 ; see Cord, Threads. 
' Kofta, forced meat, 320, 322. 
Koka, a foster father, 25. 
Koknar, an infusion of opium 

capsules, 326. 
Kolhu, a press for sugarcane, &c., 

Kora, Korla, a whip, 172 
Koran, Quran, the, learning it by 

rote, see Hdfiz ; texts used as 

charms, 37, 49, 314 ; finishing 

reading of, 51 f., 160, see 

Khatm-i -Quran ; texts giving 

omens, 61 : use of in marriage 

rites, 80 ; placed with the 

corpse, 94 ; recited at the 

grave, 104 ; stand for holding, 

148 ; used as an amulet, 179 ; 

descent of from Heaven, 205 ; 

turning of in magic, 277. 
Kordala : see Kardhani. 
Korla, a whip, 172. 
Kotwal, a chief police officer, 

attached to a band of Faqirs, 

Kudali, a mattock ; kudali mama, 

a rite at Muharram, 157 f. 
Kufa, visit of Husain to, 156. 

Kuhl, Kohl, antimony, 307. 
Kukaltash, a foster-father, 25. 
Kiiku, a stew with fried eggs, 319. 
Kunda, a large pot, 202. 
Kundal, an earring, 177. 
Kunku, red powder put on the 

parting of the hair, 305. 
Kunyat, a title of relationship, 

Kurta, a shirt, coat, 36, 94, 175, 

Kusum, safflower, 308 ; kusum- 

bha, a preparation of opium, 

316, 325. 
Kuza, a waterpot, 103. 

Lab, the bride-price, 75. 
Labbai caste, the, 12, 197. 
Labni pulao, a kind of stew, 320. 
Lachha, a string of beads, 77. 
Laddii, a sweetmeat ball, 40 ; 

kabab, savoury meat baUs, 323 ; 

laddii bandhna, a rite for chil- 
dren, 40. 
Lagan, a tray, 317. 
La hauJa, an invocation, 120, 239. 
Lahd, the side-chamber in a grave, 

99 ; lahd bhama, to fill the 

chamber, to place food on the 

place of death, 106 f. 
Lail o nahar, night and day, a 

kind of spotted wood, 150. 
Laila, a class of Muharram Faqirs, 

Lailatu-1-barat, laUatu-l-qadr, the 

festival, 203. 
Lai Baba, Shahbaz, the Saints, 

140, 142. 
Lambadi caste, marriage customs 

of, 8 f . 
Lamentations after death, 106 ; 

at the grave, 104. 
Lamp, lighted in the delivery 

room, 37 ; lampblack : see 

Langar nikalna, the anchor vow, 

Langota, langoti, a loin-cloth, 169, 

285, 291. 
Lap-filling, of a pregnant woman 

and bride, 20, 67. 
Laqab, a honorary name, 29. 



Laqis, lord of the worshippers of 

fire, 233. 
Lattu, the children's game of tops, 

Laung, a clove ; laungchira, bread 

shaped like a clove, 322. 
Law schools of the Sunni, 15 f. 
Laza, one of the seven Hells, 152. 
Leave, granting of for festivals, 

Lekanomancy, 264 n. 1. 
Lemons used as protectives, 23, 

160 11. 1, 161, 172, 269, 272, 275; 

in charms, 275. 
Letters of death, 154 n. 2. 
Lifafa, an envelope, part of the 

shroud, 94. 
Lime, the mineral used as a 

chastity test, 20, 69, 166 ; the 

fruit : see Lemons. 
Limping, in ritual, 117. 
Locusts used as food, 316. 
Lohlangar Dargah, a shrine, 145. 
Lokapala, the guardians of the 

four quarters, 278. 
Lota, a metal waterpot, 126, 317. 
Lote tree, leaves used in washing 

the corpse, 92. 
Love charms, 243 f., 314. 
Liiban shami, gum used as a 

depilatory, 306. 
Lucky and unlucky times, 8, 31, 

280, 306. 
Lung, liingi, a loin-cloth, part of 

the shroud 93, 169, 220, 285, 

291, 297. 
Lying in, 21 fE. 

Machchhi, fish, uses of, 319, 323. 
Madad, madak, a preparation of 

opium, 316 ; how made, 325. 
Madar Zinda Shah, the Saint, 67, 

173, 195 ff. ; Madari, Madariya, 

an Order of Faqirs, 67, 289 f. 
Madh, praises of the martyrs, 184. 
Madrangam, a game, 336. 
Magians, the, hell reserved for, 152. 
Magic, 218 ff. ; instruction in, 

219 ff. ; rules of purity, 219 f. ; 

in the Koran, 218 w. 2. 
Maghrib kJ namaz, the sunset 

prayer. 111, 130, 205. 

MaghzTat, brains used in food, 319 
Mahdi, the Imam, 14, 208; Mu- 
hammad, 209 ; a lamp frame 

Mahi, fish, the fish standard, 160. 
Mahmiid Begada, BTgarha, 13 ; of 

Ghazni, 5, 141. 
Mahr, the bride's settlement, 57, 

71, 74f. 
Mahram, the guardian of a woman 

on pilgrimage, 115. 
Mahru, the bowl of a tobacco pipe, 

Ma'jun, an intoxicating electuary, 

48, 316 ; how prepared, 327. 
MajnGn, possessed by the Jinn, 

an Order of Faqirs, 171, 232. 
Majusi, worshippers of fire, 14. 
Majziib, abstracted, a class of 

SiHis, 294. 
Makandar, makanwala, a resident 

Faqir, 145,287. 
Makhdiim Faqih, the Saint, 142. 
Makruh, improper, unseemly, 110, 

111, 303, 315. 
Ma'klis, reciting charms back- 
wards, 246. 
Mala, a necklace, 173. 
Malang, an Order of Faqirs, 142, 

172 f., 197, 290. 
Malida, a kind of cake, 46, 193. 
Malik Imam founder of the law 

school, Mahki, 16. 
Mal'Gn, accursed, a title of Yazld, 

Mama, a nurse, 25. 
Manar, manara, a minaret, 129; 148. 
Mandil, a turban with a gold band, 

Mandua, mandwa, a marriage, 

Muharram, shed, 69, 164. 
Mandiib, that which is recom- 
mended, 111. 
Mangni, the asking in marriage, 

62, 63 f . 
Manja, a gift, 46 ; manja, manjha 

baithna, to sit in state, 43. 
Manjan, dentifrice, 125, 306. 
Mappilla caste : see Moplah. 
Maqbara, a mausoleum, 99. 
Marakayyan caste, the, 197. 
Maratha power, rise of, 6. 



Maratib, dignities, Muharram stan- 
dards, 160. 

Mardanu-I-ghaib, hidden men, 
guardians of the quarters, 278. 

Marl tribe, the, circumcision ritual, 
48 f. ; female circumcision, 50. 

Marjoram, a sacred plant, 91. 

Marriage, prevalence of among 
Musalmans, 3, 56 ; obligatory, 
56 ; modes of, 57 ; with a 
cousin, 57 ; by purchase, 57 ; 
temporary, 57 ; by capture, 

57 f . ; negotiations, 58 ; astro- 
logical conditions, 59 f . ; age of, 

58 ,• the asking, 62 ; betrothal, 
62 ff. ; colour, 64 ; relations 
after betrothal, 65 ; anointing, 
66 ; confarreatio, 68 ; measur- 
ing for the wedding dress, 69 ; 
wedding ceremony, 76; water- 
pot rite, 69 ; feast, 78 f . ; songs, 
79 f. ; untying the bracelet, 
82 ff.; gifts to the bride, 70; 
paraphernalia, 70 f . ; rending of 
the waterpot covers, 71 ; win- 
nowing virgin rice, 71 ; oil-pot 
rite, 72 ; procession of the 
bridegroom, 72 f . ; settlement 
75 ; home-coming of the bride 
81 ; consummation, 54, 82 
conditions of marriage, 79 
time spent in the rites, 88 
marriage of a girl at a shrine, 

Mars, the Dispositions of, 33. 

Marsiya, the elegies sung at the 
Muharram, 158, 160; at the 
Barah wafat festival, 189. 

Martyrs, 123 f. 

Marii, a weapon made of antelope 
horns, 172, 294. 

Ma'ruf Karkhi Shaikh, the Saint, 

Marwa, the hill near Mecca, 117. 

Marwan, servant of Yazid, 155. 

Marwari, a moneylender from 
Jodhpur, a Muharram Faqir, 
180 f. 

Mash, a kind of pulse, 186, 322. 

Mashaikh, a venerable man, re- 
ligious guide, 9, 25, 44, 63, 255, 
283, 296. 

Mashar-al-haram, a place near 

Mecca, 119. 
Mashhadu-I-Husain, Meshed, 14, 

Mashrii', mixed silk and cotton 

cloth, 244, 300. 
Mashshata, a tire-woman, 79. 
Masjid, a mosque, 110, 129, 146 ff. ; 

Masjidu-l-haram, the mosque 

at Mecca, 117. 
Mastan, a mad man, an Order of 

Faqirs, 291. 
Mas'ud Ghazi, the Saint, 201. 
Ma'sum, free from sin, 14. 
Masiir, a kind of pulse, 321. 
Mata, the Hindu Mother Goddess, 

Ma'talan, leavened bread, 321. 
Matki, a small earthen pot, 74, 

194; Matki Shah, King Pot, 

a Muharram Faqir, 176. 
Matkula, a dumpling, 238, 322. 
Matthi roti, savoury bread, 322. 
Mattock wielding rite at the 

Muharram, 157 f. 
Maula 'All, Lord 'All, 183, 202. 
Maulavi, a learned doctor, 105, 

Mauliid, the birth service, 189, 

193, 197. 
Maut, death, 152. 
Mawarau-n-nahr, Transoxiana, 86. 
Mazar-i-sharif, pilgrimage to, 115. 
Mazblit, the master of news, 233. 
Meals, 317 f. 
Mecca, clay of, used for marking 

the shroud, 94 ; pilgrimage to, 

Medina, pilgrimage to, 123. 
Mekh Shah, King Tentpeg, a 

Muharram Faqir, 178. 
Mela, a fair, a meeting of Faqirs, 

Meman caste, the, use of jewellery, 

Menhdi, henna, 308 ; the second 

day of marriage, 65 ; procession 

at the Muharram festival, 161 ; 

a cenotaph, 189, 194. 
Mercury, the Dispositions of, 32. 
Meshed, Mashhadu-1-Husain, pil- 
grimage to, 14, 115. 



Met, a kind of clay, 92. 

Midwives, 22. 

Milirab, the niche in the mosque 

wall, 145, 146, 147. 
Mihri, side locks of hair, 83. 
Mikall, the Archangel Michael, 233. 
Mikhal, a probe with which anti- 
mony is applied to the eyes, 307. 
Milao Pir, the Saint, 135. 
Milk, 324. 

Mill, the flour, rite at marriage, 70. 
Mimbar, minbar, the mosque 

pulpit, 129, 145, 146, 147, 
Mina, near Mecca, sacrifice at, 116, 

119, 120. 
Minar : see Mandr : minaret, the, 

129, 146, 148. 
Minbar ; see Mimhar. 
Miqat, stages on the pilgrim road, 

Miqna', the bridegroom's veil, 73, 

Mir, lord, a title, 10 ; Miyan, the 

Saint, 142. 
Mi'raj, the night journey of the 

Prophet, 157, 166. 
MIran Bhik, the Saint, 289; 

Miran Sahib, tomb of, 18, 142. 
Mirwaha, a fan carried by Faqirs, 

Mirza, Mirza, a title, 27, 
Misqal, a weight, 73 grains, 114. 
MissI, dentifrice, 48, 72, 269; 

how prepared, 306. 
Miswak, a tooth-twig, 68, 125 ; 

wood used in making, 306. 
Mitha, sweet, 62, 78, 319 ; mithai, 

sweetmeats, 324. 
Miyan, master, 139 ; Miyan Mir, 

the Saint, 142. 
Miyana, a litter, 81. 
Mochi, a cobbler, mourning cus- 
tom, 95. 
Mohana, the tribe, cohabitation 

after betrothal, 65. 
Mohani, mohini ka kajal, a love 

charm, 244. 
Moles, drawn on the face of the 

bride, 68. 
Molesalam, the caste, 13. 
Mom, wax ; mom ki tabiit, a 

Muharram cenotaph, 164, 

i Moon, the Dispositions of, 32 ; 

new, in ritual, 157, 197, 198, 
! 205, 220, 254, 255. 
{ Moplah, the caste, 12, 197 ; 

mosques, 148 : see Mappilla. 
Morchhal, a fly-whisk, 160. 
Morpankhi, a boat shaped like 

a peacock, 136. 
Moses, legend of, 307. 
Mosque, the, 146 ff. ; constructed 

from materials of Hindu temples, 

Mother and child, treatment of, 

22 ff. ; mother of pearl, 150. 
Mothi, a kind of pulse, 135. 
Moti Masjid, the Pearl Mosque, 

Moulding of heads of children, 

Mourning, food, 105 ; dress, 106 ; 

of children at the Muharram 

festival, 159 ; days on which 

Musalmans mourn, 188. 
Moustache, the, 304. 
Mouth, closed at death, 90. 
Muajjal, the marriage settlement 

paid immediately, 75. 
Mu'awia, Governor of Syria, 153. 
Muazzin, the caUer to prayer, 77, 

128, 206. 
Mu-i-mubarak, the blessed hair of 

the Prophet, 190. 
Mubah, acts which are indifferent, 

Mubashir, the Angel who examines 

the dead, 101. 
Mudawwar, repetition, in magic, 

Mughal tribe, the, 10 f . ; names, 

27, 28 ; a Muharram Faqir, 

176 ; Mughal-Pathan, the game, 

odd and even, 336. 
Muhammad, the Prophet, tomb of, 

122 ; relics of, 147 f. ; his night 

journey : see Buraq, Mi^rdj : 

his illness and death, 186, 188 ; 

attempt to bewitch, 273 ; son of 

Qasim, 4 f. ; Ghori, 5 ; al 

askarl, 14 ; ibn Idris, as-Shafi'i, 

Muhammadan conquest of India, 




Muharram, the festival, 151 ff. ; 

observed by Hindus, 8, 9 : 

taboos during, 167. 
MuTnu-d-din Hasan Chishti, the 

Saint, 142, 145, 197, 288. 
Mujavir, mujawir, attendants at a 

shrine or mosque, 40, 143, 149, 

169, 197. 
Mu'jizat, miracles, 189 
Mulhidnuma, a class of Shattariya 

Faqirs, 289. 
Mulla, a jurist, doctor of the law, 

preacher, 1, 63, 149 n. 2, 255, 

Multani mitti, earth of Multan, 

used in purifying a corpse, 92. 
Munajat, supplications, 131, 133, 

Miindan, the rite of tonsure of 

children, 39. 
Mung, a kind of pulse, 321. 
Munhchira, munhphora, ' face- 

gashers ', the Rafa'i Order of 

Faqirs, 194 ; munh dhankna, to 

hide the face in mourning, 106. 
Munkar, the Unknown, the Angel 

who interrogates the dead, 101. 
Munshi, the heavenly registrar, 

Muraqaba, religious meditation, 

Murdafirosh, corpse seller, a Mu- 
harram Faqlr, 176 ; mur- 

dashu, a washer of the corpse, 

Murid. the disciple of a teacher, 

145, 283, 284. 
Murmura, parched rice, 41. 
Murshid, a spiritual guide, 52, 122, 

169, 219, 283. 
Musa Asha'ri, Yazid's messenger, 

154 ; Miisa Sohag, the Saint, 

Musa Sohagiya, his Order, 292. 
Musafir khana, a hostelry at- 
tached to a mosque, 148 ; 

Musafir Shah, King Traveller, 

a Muharram Faqlr, 176. 
Miisal, a pestle for husking rice, 71, 

Musalla, a prayer carpet, a space 

marked in the floor of a mosque, 

130, 148. 

Musalmans, statistics of, 1 ; causes 

of their increase, 2 f. ; conquest 

of India, 4 ff . ; divisions of, 

9 fE. ; sects, 14 ff. 
Mushkbala, scented wood mixed 

with tobacco, 329. 
Music, how created, 89 f. ; prac- 
tised by Chishti Faqirs, 289 ; 

rejected by the Naqshbandi and 

Qadiriya Orders, 288, 292. 
Muslim ibn 'Uqail, nephew of 

'AH, 156. 
Mustahabb, things recommended, 

111, 133. 
Mustahal, mustahil, a substitute 

husband in case of remarriage 

after divorce, 86. 
Muta', temporary marriage, 57. 
Mutajjan, mutanjan, food cooked 

in a pan, 320. 
Mutalammis, letters of, 154 n. 2. 
MutawalT, the superintendent of a 

mosque, 77, 149. 
Mutlaqa, absolute, of divorce, 86, 

Mutthi bandhna, to close the fists, 

of an infant, 41. 
Muwajj,al, deferred, of a marriage 

settlement, 75. 
Muza'far, food mixed with saffron, 

Muzi, things vicious, noxious, 298. 
Myrrh, use of, at childbirth, 23. 

Nad-i'ali, an amulet case, 255. 

Nadir Shah, the throne of, back- 
gammon, 333. 

Naf talna, muscle strain, charm to 
remove, 259. 

Nafl, supererogatory prayers. 111, 
130, 208. 

Naga Raja, the snake king, 202. 

Nagarmotha, cyperus rotundus, 

Naglna Masjid, mosque at Agra, 

Nagor, town, shrine of Qadirwali 
Sahib, the Saint, 197. 

Nahha, the dirge sung at the 
Muharram, 160. 

Naib-i-QazI, the assistant law- 
officer, 63. 



Naicha, the of a tobacco 
pipe, 329. 

Nails, cutting of, 21. 

Najmu-cl-dln Kubra Firdausi, the 
Saint, 288. 

Nakhuda, a ship's captain, 199. 

Naliir, the Repudiator, the Angel 
who examines the dead, 101. 

Na'l Sahib, the horseshoe carried 
in procession at the Muharram, 

Namakcliashi, salt-tasting, the 
first feeding of a child, 40 ; at 
marriage, 64. 

Namam, a Hindu sectarial mark, 

Namaz, prayer, 109, 130 ; namaz- 
gah, a place of prayer, 145, 211. 

Names, ninety-nine, of God, 17, 
255 ff. ; inscribed in mosques, 
147 ; recital of, 255 ; names, 
opprobrious, 34 ; selection of 
names, 26 S. ; naming of chil- 
dren, 26 ff. ; in marriage, 59 ; 
of Faqirs, 286. 

Namzadbazi, love-making after 
betrothal, 65. 

Nan, bread, 321. 

Nanakshahi, Nanakpanthi, the 
Sikh Order of Faqirs, 179. 

Nandini, the Hindu cow of plenty, 
166 n. 2. 

Napak bona, to be unclean, the 
coming of the menses, 53. 

Naqibu-1-fuqara, the leader of a 

gang of Faqirs, 170. 
Naqli Shah, King Story-teller, a 

Muharram Faqir, 177. 
Naqqara, a kettledrum, announc- 
ing the fast, 112. 
Naqshband, Pir Muhammad, the 
Saint, 175, 292; Naqshbandl, 
an Order of Faqirs, 175, 292 f. 
Naqiis, a prayer-bell, 128. 
Nard, backgammon, 332. 
Nas, snuff, 329. 

Nath, nathni, a woman's nose ring, 
worn in the side of the nose, 
276. 314. 
Nativities, casting of, 260. 
Naubat; the royal band, announc- 
ing the fast, 112. 

Nauroz, the New Year festival, 

190 f. 
Navayat caste, the, 12. 
Nawwab, a prince. Nabob, Muhar- 
ram Faqir, 178, 212. 
Nazr o niyaz, vows, 134 ; nazru- 
llah, an offering to God, 134, 
Necklaces, worn at marriage, 78 : 

see Kanthd, Mala, Sell. 
Neota, a gift, 46. 
New Year festival, the, 190 f . 
Neza, the spear carried in pro- 
cession at the Muharram, 161. 
Nicholson, General John, 296. 
Nifas, childbirth pollution, 54. 
Nigali, a pipe for smoking Chandii 

(q.v.), 326. 
Nigaristan, a picture gallery, 

palace, 216. 
Night of Power, the, 188, 203. 
Nihani ana, arrival of the time for 

bathing, coming of age, 53. 
Nikah, the marriage service, an 
informal marriage, 65, 74 ; 
muwaqqat, temporary marriage, 
57 ; sigha, the marriage con- 
tract, 76. 
Nikalseni, an Order of Faqirs, 

Nim, the tree azadirachta indica, 

23, 306. 
Nine, a mystic number, 268, 272. 
Ninety-nine Names of God, 255 ff. 
Nisab, repeating the Divine attri- 
butes, 223. 
Nisbat, betrothal, 63. 
Niyat, the intention of prayer, &c., 
97, 130, 205 ; khair ka Fatiha, 
the Fatiha (q.v.) of good intent, 
Nizam of Hyderabad, Hindus in 

his dominions, 2. 
Nizamu-d-din Auliya, the Saint, 

143, 145, 289. 
Noah, tomb of, 145. 
Nudity, in pilgrimage, 116; of 

Faqirs, 295. 
Nuh, Noah, 46, 145. 
Nuhl, dower, 57. 

Nujaba, the excellent, a class of 
Faqirs, 287. 



Nuqaba, leaders, a class of Faqirs, 

Nura, a depilatory, 305. 
Nurses, nursing of children, 25. 

Oaths, by the beard and hair 

locks, 43 ; on betel, 62. 
Oblations, 134 ff. 
Odd and even, a game, 336. 
Offerings, propitiator}', 65, 134 ff., 

Oil-pot rite, the, in marriage, 72. 
Old Man of the Moimtain, the, 13. 
Olive stones, used in rosaries, 150 ; 

leaves used in charms, 243. 
Omens, belief in, 8 ; at maiTiage, 

Onyx, the, used in rosaries, 150. 
Opium, 316, 325 f. 
Opprobrious names, 34. 
Orhni, a skirt, scarf ; urana, a rite 

at the first menstruation, 53. 
Ostrich eggs hung in mosques, 147. 
Otto of roses, 310. 
Oudh, Musalman settlements m, 3. 
Owl, the, flesh used in charms, 

243 ; blood used in magic, 266. 

PachisT, the game, 333. 
Pachpiriya sect, the, 143. 
Paddy bird, the, 174, 316. 
Pagri, a turban, 302. 
Pahar, a watch, about 3 hours, 

Pahle sir maila bona, a phrase for 

the first menstruation, 53. 
Pairahan, pirahan, a shirt, mantle, 

94, 296, 300. 
Pakhar, a flower ornament, like 

horse armour, 312. 
Pakhawaj, a timbrel, 139. 
Pahliigundhan, palgundhan, hair 

plaiting, of girls, 43. 
Palid, polluted, an epithet applied 

by Shi'as to Yazid, 153. 
Palita, a charmed wick, 236, 240, 

Palki, a palanquin, litter, 71. 
Pan, betel, 62, 329 f. ; uthana, to 

take up, in marriage, 62 ; hearts, 

in cards, 336. 
Pandal, the marriage shed, 69. 

Pandan, a box for holding betel, 

Panj Pir, the Five Saints, 143 ; 
pania, the spread hand, carried 
at tlie Muharram and other 
festivals, 159, 193: Panjtan-i- 
pak, the Five Holy Ones, 10, 14, 

Pankha, a fan, carried by Faqirs, 

Panw mez, minnat, measuring for 
the wedding dress, 69. 

Parad, borrowed clothes, 36. 

Paraphernalia, of the bride, 70 f . 

Parata, a roll made of flour and 
butter, 322. 

Parda, a screen, seclusion of 
women ; pardanishin, a woman 
kept in seclusion, 283. 

Pari, a fairy, 156 ; ka nahan, the 
Fairy Bath, 268 ; Pariwali, a 
Fairy Woman, 268 ; akhara, 
meeting of, 269. 

Pasa, dice, 335. 

Pashm, pashmlna, fine woollen 
cloth, 291. 

Pastilles, 104 n. 5. 

Pat ka chawal charhana, char- 
wana, to winnow the rice of 
ch£istity, at marriage, 71. 

Patang, a kite, 336. 

Patchouli, 311, 328. 

Pateli, a cooking pot, 317. 

Pathan tribe, the. Kings of 
Bengal, 1; of Delhi, 11; 
charms used in protracted labour, 
22 ; names of, 27, 28 ; disposal 
of the foreskin, 49 ; marriage 
by capture. 58 ; seclusion of the 
bride, 68 ; bride and bride- 
groom not allowed to work, 68 ; 
bride price, 75 ; divorce ritual, 
87 ; hair, mode of wearing, 
304 f. 

Patka, a handkerchief, sash, 283. 

Patthar Kabab, meat roasted by 
travellers on a hot stone; 323. 

Patwa, a bracelet-maker, 168. 

PautI, a lamp, 204. 
Pearls, 150. 

Pebbles, used for counting prayers, 



Pepper, used in charms, 45 n. 1, 

Perfumes, used in magic, 236 n. I ; 

perfumed powders, 309. 
Peshqabz, a dagger worn in front 

by Faqirs, 294. 
Peshnamaz, a prayer-leader, 149. 
Peshwaz, a woman's gown, 301. 
Phadali, a spirit medium, 136. 
Phansa, the game Chaupar, 335. 
Pharaoh, his manner of sitting, 

270 n. 1. 
Pheni, a foam-like cake, 322. 
Phenta, a small turban, worn by 

Faqirs, 293. 
Phika, light, of tobacco, 329 ; 

phiki purl, fried cakes, 322. 
Phirai, a follower of the Saint 

Sakhi Sarwar, 143. 
Phisal-banda, sliding, a children's 

game, 338. 
Phul, flowers, 311 f. ; charhana, 

to offer at graves, 104 ; chadar, 

a flower sheet, 95, 312 ; tabaq, 

the Magic Tray, 270; phulel, 

fragrant oil, 53, 309 ; phulka, 

raised bread. 321. 
Pickles, 324. 
Pictures, proliibited in mosques, 

147. 165. 
Pigeon-flying, 336. 
Pikdan, a spittoon, 71. 
Piles, a charm to remove, 259. 
Pilgrimage, obligation of, 115; 

taboos during, 115, 116; bless- 
ings of, 123 ; pilgrimage to 

Medina, 4. 
Pinak. a drinker, an opium-eater, 

Pipal, the sacred fig-tree, used in 

magic, 37, 162, 187. 
Pipe, for tobacco-smoking, 328, 

Pir, a Saint, a holy man, 7, 8, 283, 

296; Piran, holy men, standards 

borne at the Muharram festival, 

Pirahan : see Pairdhan. 
Pirahin, a follower of the Saint 

Sakhi Sarwar, 143. 
Pir-i-Dastagir, Dastgir, the Saint, 

192 fi. 

Pithi, flour, 68. 

Piyada, a messenger attached to 

a mosque, 149. 
Piyaz, the onion, 323. 
Placenta, the, removal of, 22. 
Planets, the, 29 ; divination by, 

60 ; influence of, on names, 

29 f. 
Plassey, the battle of, 6. 
Pogal, an earring, 177. 
Poll-tax : see Jizya. 
Pollutio noctuma, 54 ; pollution 

necessitating ablution, 127. 
Polo, the game, 336 f . 
Polygamy, 57, 85 f . 
Pomegranate, twig, placed on 

graves, 100. 
Pot, set adrift to remove ill luck, 

67; arranged in the marriage 

shed, 69 ; rending covers of, at 

marriage, 71 ; potsherd used in 

charms, 22. 
Potter's wheel, the, used in magic, 

Powders, perfumed, 309. 
Powinda, traders, 11. 
Prada, borrowed clothes, 36. 
Prasanda, a sort of cutlet, 322. 
Prayer, 125 ff. ; for the dead, 106 ; 

seasons of, 110 ff., 130 ; the 

call to, 128 ; niche to show 

direction of prayer in a mosque, 

145 ; ritual of, 130 ff. ; general 

rules, 133 ; carpet, 71, 150 ; 

said by Faqirs, 287. 
Pregnancy, precautions and taboos 

dm-ing, 19 ; rites during, 20 f . 
Presents, rules of giving, 46. 
Prithivlraja, the Chauhan Rajput 

prince, 5. 
Procession of the bridegroom, 72 f .; 

at the Muharram festival, 182 ff. 
Prohibited degrees, 56. 
Propitiatory offerings, 65, 134 ff., 

Puberty rites, of boys, 54 f . ; of 

girls, 53 f . 
Pulao, a kind of stew, 318 ff. 
Pul-i-sirat, the Bridge of Death : 

see Al-sirdt. 
PungI, a pipe, played by Faqirs 

and jugglers, 180. 



Purl, a butter cake, 84, 321, 322. 
Pushtkhar, a back-scratcher, car- 
ried by Faqirs, 294. 

Qabil, QabU, Cain, 233. 

Qabr, a grave ; qabr-i-paigham- 
bar, a cenotaph carried in pro- 
cession, 163. 

Qabuli, a kind of khichari (q.v.), 

Qadam-i-rasul, the footmark of 
the Prophet, 160, 188 ; of 
Abraham, 117. 

Qadiriya, an Order of Faqirs, 288. 

Qadirwali Sahib, the Saint, 9, 
197 fE. ; his miracles, 199 f. 

Qaf, the circle of mountains en- 
compassing the world, 234, 272. 

Qalam, the pen with which God's 
decrees are recorded, 152 ; 
qalamdan, a pen-box, marking 
a man's tomb, 102. 

Qalandar, a class of begging 
monks, 295. 

Qaliya, a meat stew, 188, 323. 

Qaliyun, a tobacco pipe, 329. 

QamchI, a scourge, carried by 
Faqirs, 172. 

QamTs, a shirt, mantle, 94, 296. 

Qanat, the screen of a tent, 93. 

Qasim, the martyred bridegroom, 
160, 161. 

Qassab, a butcher, their festival, 

Qaul, a contract ; bira, the con- 
tract betel at marriage, 62, 63, 

Qazi, a law officer, his functions, 
8, 63, 74, 149, 212 ; his fees at 
a marriage, 76 f . ; his duties, 
77 J Bedin, la'in, the irreligious, 
accursed, a Muharram Faqir, 
178 ; Qazi-Mulla, a children's 
game, 338. 

Qimam, qiwam, syrup of opium, 

Qimaq rotl, savoury bread, 322. 

Qimarbazi, gambling with dice, 

Qitmir, the dog of the Seven 

Sleepers, 138. 
Qiwam : see Qimam. 

Qiyam, the standing attitude at 
praj'er, 131. 

Qorma, qorma, a kind of stew, 319. 

Qudrati, divine, powerful, the 
sword carried in procession at 
the Muharram, 160, 162. 

Quful, locks, in magic, 223. 

Qui, the title of certain chapters 
in the Koran, 76, 96. 

Quraish tribe, the, 10, 12, 118. 

Quran : see Koran : Quran gar- 
dan, to turn the Koran, in 
magic, 277. 

QurbanI, a sacrifice, 120. 

Qurs, a round loaf of bread, 321. 

Qutb Minar, the great pillar at 
Delhi, 148 ; Qutbu-d-din Bakht- 
yar KakI, the Saint, 143. 

Quwwat, strength, virility, 327 ; 
Quwwatu-1-Islam mosque, at 
Old Delhi, 149. 

Rafa'i, Rifa'I, an Order of Faijli-s, 
194, 290 ; Rafi'yadain, a title of 
the Walihabi, 3 f. 

RafizI, a title applied to Shi'as, 14. 

Rafts set afloat to carry away ill 
luck, 136 : see Boats. 

Rahil. a stand for the Koran, 148. 

Raihan : see ReliAn. 

Raiyan, a door of Paradise, 112. 

Rajab Siilar, the Saint. 201 f. 

Raja'i, of divorce, irrevocable, 86. 

Rajput tribes, a barrier against 
Islam, 3 ; Islam among them, 
7 ; eating betel as a pledge of 
loyalty, 62. 

Raka'at, the prayer bow, 130, 206. 

Rakshya Kali, the cholera goddess 
of the Hindus, 8. 

Raktani, rukhsatana, a gift on 
departure, 35. 

Ramaniya, a dancing boy, 179. 

Ramanavami, Ramnaumi, the 
Hindu festival of the birth of 
Rama, 167. 

Ramazan, the festival, 113, 205 ff. ; 
observed by Hindus, 8 ; Bai- 
ram, 211 ; gifts sent to the 
bride, 65 ; leader of prayer at, 
77 ; use of the water of Zam- 
zam, 118. 



Rammal, a diviner, 274 n. 1. 
Ramyu-r-rijam, -1-jimar, the 

throwing of pebbles at Mecca, 

Ran ka dola, ran k! tabut, the 

battle cenotaph, 184 ; ran ka 

sharbat. the battle sherbet, 161. 
Rangbari, coloured gifts, sent by 

the bride to the bridegroom, 70. 
Rasulnuma, a class of Shattariya 

Faqirs, 289 ; Rasiilshahi, an 

Order of Faqirs, 295 f. 
Ratjaga, a night vigil, 36, 107 : 

see Vigil. 
Rauzatu-s-safa, the Garden of 

Purity, 232 ; Rauzatu-sh-Shu- 

hada, the Garden of the Martyrs, 

Rawaq : see Riwaq. 
Red, a colour used in magic, 

especially at marriage, 54, 63, 

66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 78, 79, 80, 83, 

168, 228, 302 f. 
Rehan, raihan, wood of the basil 

tree, 150. 
Relics, of the Prophet, 147 f., 190. 
Rengna, to crawl, of children, 41. 
Resting prayers, the. 111 f., 206 
Resurrection, the Day of, 40, 124, 

206, 282. 
Retirement, prayers said in, 207 f . 
Revenge, charms to secure, 245 f . 
Rice, 321 ; used in marriage rites, 

74, 79. 
Richh Shah, King Bear, a Muhar- 

ram Faqlr, 180. 
Rida', the upper part of the 

pilgrim's robe, 115. 
Rifa'I : see Rafa''i. 
Rijalu-l-ghaib, the hidden men 

who guard the quarters, 278. 
Ring, a, divination by means of, 

Riots between Hindus and Musal- 

mans at the Muharram festival, 

167 ; between Shi'as and Sun- 

nis, 15, 167, 7i. 2. 
Rish, the beard, 304. 
Ritha, soap pods, 36, 92. 
Riwaq, rawaq, the cloisters of a 

mosque, 147. 
Riyasat, discipline, penance, 298. 

Roasting of meat, 322 f . 
Rocking of a child, 40. 
Roghandar, bread with plenty of 

butter, 322. 
Rohela, Rohilla tribe, the, 11. 
Rosary, the, 149 f. ; materials 

used in making, 150. 
Roti, bread, 321. 
Roza, fasting, 109 ; ki fitrat, the 

fast offering, 113. 
Ruh, the soul, 101, 188 ; its 

varieties, 188. 
Rukhsatana : see Rakfani. 
Ruknu-1-yamani, the alabaster 

stone at Mecca, 117. 
Rukii', the prayer bow, 130, 284 ; 

ruku'tain, the two bow prayer^ 

Rumal, a handkerchief, 286, 297. 
Rumi, Turkish, of chess, 331. 
Ruqaiya, the daughter of the 

Prophet, 123. 

Sabil a place where water is dis- 
tributed at festivals, 168, 183. 

Sabun, soap, 92. 

Sabza, the basil tree, 181 ; sabzi, 
a preparation of hemp, 326. 

Sachaq, interchange of gifts be- 
tween bride and bridegroom, 64, 

Sacrifice, the ritual of, 215 f . ; 
meat of sacrifice eaten, 317. 

Sada, plain, of tobacco, 328- 

Sadaf, mother of pearl, 150. 

Sadaqa : see Sadqa. 

Saddu : see Shaikh SaddU. 

Sadqa, sadaqa, dower, 57 ; alms, 
211 ; propitiatory gifts, 65, 261. 

Safa, the hill near Mecca, 117. 

Safed, white, of khichari (q.v.), 

Safflower, 308. 

Saffron, taboo of, 66. 

Safiyu-llah, the Chosen One of 
God, Adam, 89. 

Safura, Zipporah, wife of Moses, 

Sahar, sahur, sahargahi, the early 
meal before a fast, 112, 205. 

Sahib-i-nisab, the possessor of an 
estate, 113, 297 ; sahiban, 



great men, companions, stan- 
dards carried in procession at 
the Muharram festival, 159. 

Sahn, the open court of a mosque, 

Sahnak, the pot rite, 20, 138. 

Sahrwardiyan, Suhrwardiyan, a 
household of Saints, 288. 

Sahii, sau, haldi, the public 
anointing of the bride with 
turmeric, 66. 

Sahiir, the breaking of a fast : see 

Sa'im, fasting, 109. 

Saints of Islam, 140 ff. ; worship 
of, 8 ; those who grant children, 

17 f. ; rites in their honour, 
144 f . ; powers ascribed to, 7 f . ; 
children named after them, 28 ; 
the corporation of, 287. • 

Sa'ir, one of the seven Hells, 152 

Sajjada, a prayer-carpet, 130. 

Sajjikhar, barilla, 308. 

Sakhi Sarwar, Sultan, the Saint, 

Sakhrat, the great emerald which 
gives colour to the sky, 234. 

Salam, the salutation in prayer, 
97,, 131, 206 ; salami, gifts at 
marriage, 64 ; the seven greet- 
ings, 187. 

Salan, saltish, of curry, &c., 323. 

Salar Mas'ud, the Saint Ghazi 
Miyan, 9, 67, 141. 

Salat, prayers said in the mosque, 
110, 130; salatu-1-janaza, the 
funeral service, 97 ; various 
prayers. 111. 

Salgirah, the birthday knot, 46. 

Salik, a pilgrim, one in search of 
salvation, 294. 

Sallm Chishti, the Saint, visiting 
his grave removes barrenness, 

18 ; his tomb, 145. 

Saliva, curative powers of, 291. 
Salt, given to a child, 40 ; used in 

marriage, 64 ; used in charms, 

Salutations, the : see Saldm ; of 

Faqlrs, 286. 
Sambusa, samosa pastry with 

mincemeat, 321. 

I Sanbal, arsenic, eaten by Faqlrs, 

I Sandal, sandalwood, used in rites, 

54 ; in making rosaries, 150 ; 

varieties of, 309 ; how applied, 

309 f . ; the commemorative rite 

for a Saint, 188, 189, 193, 197, 

210, 216 ; sandalasa, sandlasa, 

a stone for grinding sandalwood, 

SandQq, sunduq, a box, a coffin, 

Sang, an iron javelin, 169, 172. 
Sang-i-maqsud, yellow stone beads, 

Sannyasi, an Order of Hindu 

ascetics, masters of magic, 264. 
Saqar, one of the seven Hells, 152. 
Sar be tan, the head without a 

body, a Muharram Faqir, 177. 
Sara, a preparation of milk, 324. 
Sarah, legend of, 314. 
Sarang, sarangi, a fiddle, guitar, 

Sargaru, sargasht, the night pro- 
cession of the bridegroom, 72. 
Sarguroh, the leader of a band of 

Faqlrs, 170, 197. 
Sari, a woman's sheet, 46. 
Sariu-1-mujavabat, in magic, a 

speedy answer, 223. 
Sarpech, sarpesh, sarposh, a cover, 

flowers worn on the head, 312. 
Sarson, the mustard plant, 164, 

Satan, 232 f . ; his sons, 233 ; his 

deputies, 233. 
Sathaura, a dose given to a woman 

after her delivery, 23. 
Sathra, circumcision, 48. 
Satkudi, the game, hop, step, 

and a jump, 338. 
Satmasa, satwansa, the rite in the 

seventh month of pregnancy, 

Satnaja, seven kinds of grain, used 

in magic, 37. 
Satparati roti, a seven-crusted 

cake, 322. 
Satr, a mark of defence in prayer, 

133 ; satrposh, a cloth used to 

cover the corpse, 92. 



Satri, meat cakes, 195. 

Saturn, the Dispositions of, 32. 

Satvai, the dangerous spirit of 
the sixth day after delivery, 35. 

Satwansa : see Satmasd. 

Saukan maura, an offering to 
appease the spirit of the dead 
CO- wife, 211. 

Sawari, a procession of mounted 
men, 159. 

Sayyid, the dynasty, 5 ; the group 
of, 9 f . : names of, 27, 28 ; 
green dress of, 303 ; their 
festival, 211 ; not entitled to 
alms, 1 14 f . ; Jalalu-d-din, the 
Saint, 175 ; Sayyidi : see Sidi. 

Scalplock, the, rtdes regarding, 
303 : see Chonti. 

Seclusion of women, 283. 

Sehara, sehra, a veil to protect the 
wearer from the Evil Eye, 44, 

Sell, the thread or hair necklace of 
a Faqir, 168, 169, 179, 285, 296, 
297 ; Seliwala, a Muharram 
Faqlr, 168. 

Sendhi, palm wine, toddy, 187. 

Seth, the tomb of, 145. 

Settlement in marriage, 75 ; re- 
mitted by the widow, 71, 95. 

Seven, a mystic number, 18, 21, 26, 
36, 37, 84, 152, 244, 268, 272 ; 
seven month's rite after a birth, 
40 ; the seven greetings, 187 ; 
the Seven Sleepers,itale of, 137 f., 
242 ; Seven Hells, Heavens, 152. 

Sha'ban, the eighth month, gifts 
sent to the bride, 65. 

Shab, night ; Shab-i-barat, the 
festival, 52, 203 f . ; Fatiha said 
for the dead, 108 ; Shab-bedarl, 
a night vigil, 161 ; Shabgasht, 
the night procession of the bride- 
groom, 72 f. ; Shab-i-qadr, the 
Night of Power, 188. 

Shadda, a banner, 169. 

Shadi, rejoicings, marriage, 65, 87. 

Shadow of the Jinn and Fairies, 
danger from, 184, 271. 

Shafi'i, the Law School, 15. 

Shagl, shugl, works, in the 
initiation of a Faqir, 293, 298. 

Shah, King, a title of Sayyids and 
of the bridegroom, 10, 80 ; Shah- 
bala, the ' best man ' at a wed- 
ding, a Muharram Faqir, 177. 

Shahadat ka roz, the day of 
martyrdom, 10th day of the 
Muharram festival, 182 

Shahdmakkhi, honey-bee, an 
opium-eater, 325. 

Shahid, a martyr, 123, 124 ; tombs 
of, 103. 

Shahjahan, the Emperor, 6, 45 
71. 1, 127 ; manner of removal of 
his corpse, 96. 

Shah Madar, the Saint, 67, 173, 
195 f. 

Shah nishin, the royal seat erected 
at the Muharram festival, 157, 

Shah Qasim Sulaimani, the Saint, 

Shah Wasawa, a saint who removes 
barrenness, 18. 

Shahrbanii, the Persian princess, 

Shaikh, the venerable class, 10 ; 
names of, 27, 28 ; Shaikh 'Alam, 
the Saint, 18 ; Shaikh Saddu, 
139 ; Shaikh Salim Chishti, 145. 

Shaitan, Satan, 232 f . ; al Kabir, 
near Mecca, 119 f. 

Shajara, Shajaranama, the genea- 
logy of the Saints of an Order, 
284, 297. 

Shakar, sugar ; Shakarana, the 
sugar rites at marriage, 62 ; 
Shakarkhori, sugar-eating at 
marriage, 63 ; Shakar-bhat, 
boiled rice with sugar, 62. 

Shal, a shawl, 296. 

Shami Kabab, Syrian roast, 322. 

Shamiyana, a canopy, 181. 

Shamla, the ends of a turban, 

Shamsu-d-din, Muhammad Tab- 
riz!, the Saint, 143. 

Shar', the Way of Life, 7. 

Sharab, wine, spirits, 316; Sharabi, 
The Drunkard, a Muharram 
Faqir, 178. 

Sharafu-d-din Yahya Munari, the 
Saint, 137. 



Sharbat, sherbet, 63 ; Sharbat- 
khorl, sherbet drinking at a 
marriage, 63 : see Sherbet. 

Shartawa, a kind of Khichari 
(q. v.), 321. 

Shashranga, a six-coloured stew, 

Shattariya, an Order of Faqirs, 289. 

Shatranj, chess, 331. 

Shaving of children, 38 ff. ; on pil- 
grimage, 121 ; of Faqirs, 291, 
295 f . ; of candidates for initia- 
tion, 284, 285. 

Sheba, the Queen of, 306. 

Sher Shah, defeats Humayun, 5, 

Sherbet, sharbat, offered at the 
Muharram festival, 161, 168 ; 
ran ka, the battle sherbet, 161 ; 
how made, 324. 

Shi'a sect, the, 14 ff. ; pilgrimages 
of, 14, 122 ; relations with the 
Sunni, 15 ; call to prayer, 129. 

Shihabu-d-din Sahrwardi, the 
Saint, 141. 

Shikra, the sparrow hawk, 315. 

Shira, coarse sugar, 328. 

Shlrbirinj, rice boiled in milk, 188 
Shirin, shirini, sweetmeats, 324 
Shirmal, sweet bread, 321 
Shirpaili, the milk share, a gift 
to the mother of a bride at 
marriage, 75. 

Shi tab Pir, the Saint, 134. 

Shoes, rules regarding, 148. 

Shola tree, the, use of the pith, 73 ; 
a kind of khichari (q. v.), 321. 

Shrike, the drongo, blood used in 
magic, 266. 

Shrouding the dead, 93 ff. ; dip- 
ping the shroud in the well 
Zamzam, 94. 

Shugl : see Shagl. 

Shuhada, the martyrs, 123 ; day 
of the martyrs at the Muharram 
festival, 164 : see ShahTd. 

Shukrlya, the thanksgiving, 73, 

Shukur-i-yulduz, a dangerous 
planet, 278. 

Shiisha, the scalp-lock, 303. 

Sickness, predictions of, 261 f. 

Siddhi, a preparation of hemp, 326. 

Siddiqi, a class of the Sayyid, 10. 

Sidi, Sayyidi, a negro, a Muharram 
Faqir, 173 f. 

Sidr tree, the, leaves used in 
washing the corpse, 92. 

Sifat-i-Iman, the articles of belief, 

Sifla, the Black Art, 218. 

Sigha, temporary marriage, 57 

Sihr, the Black Art, 218. 

Sihra, Sihara, the veil worn by the 
bridegroom at marriage, 75, 194. 

Sijda, a prostration in prayer, 81, 
106, 122 ; tahiyat, a bow of 
salutation, 122. 

Sijn, a dimgeon reserved for the 
reprobate dead, 101. 

Sikakai, soap pods, 36, 92. 

Sikandar Badshah, Alexander the 
Great, 139, 271 ; Lodi, pro- 
hibited women from going 
abroad and making offerings at 
shrines, 104. 

Sikh, a spit ; Kabab, meat roasted 
on a spit, 322. 

Sil, a stone for grinding spices or 
hemp, 323, 326. 

Silk, use of in dress, 300 . see 

Silsila, succession, a group of 
Faqirs, 197, 283, 28.5, 297. 

Silver, use of in jewellery, 313. 

Sim, sem, beans, 266. 

Simantonnayana, the Hindu hair- 
parting rite, 35 K. 1. 

Simiya, white magic, 218. 

Sina, the breast ; Sinaband, a 
breast-band, part of a woman's 
shroud, 94 ; SinazanI, breast- 
beating in mourning, 159. 

Singing, rejected by the Qadiriya 
Order, 288 : see Music. 

Sini, a flat metal dish, 83. 

Sipand, ispand, herb of grace, 
used in charms, 24, 41, 311. 

Sipara, a section of the Koran, 52. 

Sirat, pul-i : see Al-Sirat 

Siri Saqtl, the Saint, 288 ; Saqti 
yan, a household of Saints, 288. 

Sitala, the Hindu small-pox god- 
dess, 8. 





Sitar, a guitar, ] 77, 292. 

Sitara, a planet, 221. 

Sitting, modes of, 270 ; in state : 

see Manjhd baithnd. 
Siwaiyan, vermicelli, 65, 211. 
Sixth day birth rite, the, 35. 
Skull, the suture of, by which the 

soul departs at death, 89 n. 3 ; 

caps of, used in magic, 274. 
Sky, the rite of looking at, 36. 
Slave, magical rite of manumitting, 

45 n. 1 ; slaverj', 112 ; kings, 

the, 5. 
Sleeping on the ground, 143 ; cf. 

Slippers, thrown at the bridegroom, 

Small -pox, the goddess of, 8 ; 

charm to relieve, 259. 
Smoke charms, 242. 
Snake, the, guarding treasure, 

264 f . ; of the house, used in 

magic, 19 ; snake worship, 202 ; 

two-headed, 255. 
Snuff, 329. 
Sohagan, suhagan, a happy married 

woman, 43, 67 ; sohagpitara, 

sohagpura, a box sent with the 

bride's paraphernalia, 70. 
Solomon, Sulaiman, invocation of 

and oath bv his seal, 229, 236, 

240, 260; 'and the Queen of 

Sheba, 305 f . ; use of a depila- 
tory, 305. 
Sonta, a club, 291, 293. 
Sonth, ginger, 23 ; sonthaura, 

a dose given after delivery, 23 ; 

sonthana, ginger cakes, 35. 
Souls, of men, varieties of, 188. 
Soya, dill, 319. 
Spear, procession of, at the Muhar- 

ram festival, 161 f. 
Spirits : see Soids : intoxicating 

liquor, prohibited, 316. 
Spring festival, the, 190 f. 
Squares, magic, 247 &. ; uses of, 

254 f. 
Standards, carried at the Muharram 

festival, 159 f. ; thrown into 

water, 183. 
Star-counting, after a birth, 26, 38. 
Stimulants, 325 ff. 

Stolen goods, recovery of, 264 fE. 
Stone, the Black, at Mecca, 117 ; 

thrown as a sign of divorce 87 ; 

thrown by devils, 241 ; flung at 

pillars during the pilgrimage, 

String, red, used in magic, 49 : see 

Cord, Red, Thread. 
Sual, the interrogation of the soul 

after death, 101. 
Subadar, Subahdar, a native 

officer, 176, 213. 
Subha, a rosary, 149. 
Subhan, the Blessing, Ejaculation, 

Sijfi, the, 10, 283 S. 
Sufra, a skin on which food is 

served, 318 n. 1. 
Suhagan : see Sohagan. 
Suhali, a kind of cake, 72. 
Suheliwala : see Seliivdld. 
Suhrwardiyan : see Sahrwardiydn. 
Sujna, invocation, in magic, 225. 
Siikha, dry, tobacco for chewing, 

Sukhmukh, a conserve sent by the 

bridegroom to the bride, 64. 
Sulaiman, Solomon (q. v.) ; sulai- 

mani, the onyx, 150 : Hazrat, 

the Saint, 289. 
Sultan Sakhi Sarwar, the Saint, 

143 ; Sultani, his followers, 143. 
Sumaran, remembrance, a kind of 

bracelet, 169, 297. 
Sun, the. Dispositions of, 31. 
Sunghni, snuff, 329. 
Sunduq, sandiiq, a box, coffin, 95. 
Sunnat, the traditional rule and 

prayer, 7, 111 ; al-ghair-mu'- 

aqqada,non-compulsory prayers, 

Sunni, the sect, 14 £E. ; Law schools, 

15 f . ; relations with Shi'as, 15 ; 

pilgrimages, 14. 
Supari, the areca nut, 330. 
Supli, a winnowing basket, 179. 
Surabhi, the Hindu cow of plentv, 

166 71. 2. 
Surati, chewing tobacco, 328. 
Siiratu-l-fatiha, -1-hamd, the first 

chapter of the Koran : see 




SurkhT, rouge, 68. 

Surma, antimony, applied to the 

eyes, 73, 95, 106, 151, 211, 307. 
Sutri, a meat stew, 68. 
Sweetmeats, 324. 
Sword dance, the, 162. 
Syana, an exorcist, sorcerer, 239, 


Tabaqati, Tabaqatiya, an Order of 
Faqirs, 195, 289. 

Ta'awwuz, an ejaculation against 
Satan, 131. 

Taboos, in magic, 220 ; during the 
Muharram festival, 167 f., 183, 
185 ; during the Barah Wafat 
festival, 186 ; during pregnancy, 
19 ; after childbirth, 37 ; after 
pollution, 54 ; of the bridegroom, 
68; during pilgrimage, 116; 
regarding henna, saffron, tur- 
meric, 66 ; against cooking food 
in the house of the dead, 102 ; 
of certain foods during mourning, 
105; in fasting, 112; of the 
pilgrim garments, 116 ; against 
pictures, 147, 165. 

Tabiit, the bier, 95 ; a Muharram 
cenotaph, 146, 157, 164. 

Tahajjud, midnight prayer, 110, 

Tahband, a Faqir's loin-band, 293, 

Tahiyat, the greetings in prayer, 

Taifiiriyan, a household of saints, 

Taimur, the Lame, invades India, 
5 ; introduction of cenotaphs, 

Taj, a Persian cap worn by Faqirs, 
169, 220, 285, 293, 296. 

Takblr, the Creed, 97, 214, 215; 
i-rukii', posture in prayer, 15. 

Takhallus, a jiom de plume, 29. 

Takht, a throne ; Takht-i-Nadir 
Shah, backgammon, 333 ; takhti, 
a wooden board marking the 
grave of a woman, 102. 

Takya, a pillow, a resting-place of 
Fa<iirs, 295. 

Talaq, divorce, 86. 

Talibu-l-'ilm, in magic, an in- 
quirer, 227, 298. 
Talk, talq, mica, 73, 164. 
Talqin, the initiation of disciples, 

Tamarind, the tree and fruit, 319. 
Tambaku, tobacco, 328. 
Tambalii, tanbalii, a metal pot, 68, 

Tamki, a small drum, 204. 
Tanbalii : see Tambdlu. 
Tan be sar, the body without a 

head, a Muharram Faqir, 1 77. 
Tanbii, a lamprey, 316. 
Tanbiira, a mandoline, 292. 
Tannur, an oven, 321. 
Taqdir, fate, destiny, 152. 
Taqiya, guarding oneself, evasion, 

reservation, 14. 
Tarammul, the limping pace, 117. 
Tarawlh, the resting prayers, 1 1 1 f ., 

Tarl, fermented palm juice, 316. 
Tari pulao, a kind of stew, 319. 
Tariqa, the way of salvation, 294. 
Tartiisiyan, a household of Saints, 

Tarwiya, the pilgrimage month, 

119 ?i. 1. 
Tas, a pack of cards, 336. 
Tasadduq, a rite to disperse ill 

luck, 63. 
Tasawwur, religious meditation, 

Tasbih, the ejaculation in prayer, 

131, 133; a rosary, 133, 149, 169, 

173, 285, 297. 
Tashaffiu-1-watar, consolatory 

prayers, 130. 
Tashkhir, the summoning of the 

Jinn and demons, 228. 
Tashrik, communion, 121. 
Taslim, an obeisance, 81, 122. 
Tasma, a leather belt worn by 

Faqirs, 285, 297. 
Tasmiya, the naming of God in 

prayer, 131. 
TattI, a screen, erected at the 

Muharram festival, 157. 
Tauq, a collarette, 194. 
Tawaf, the circuit of a holy place, 




Tawakkul, resignation, 10. 
Ta'wiz, an amulet, 37, 239, 244 ; 

the platform of a tomb, 102. 
Ta'awwiiz, the ejaculation in 

prayer, 13 
Tayammum, purification with sand 

or dust, 121, 127. 
Taza, a small drum, 204. 
Ta'ziya, the cenotaphs of the 

martyrs at the Muharram festi- 
val, 146, 157, 163 f. ; ta'ziya- 

khana, a house for the cenotaphs, 

Teeth, the, teething, 41, 51, 306 f. 
Tel charhana, to make the oil-pot 

offering at marriage, 72. 
Terah Tezi festival, the, 167, 186. 
Thali khari, a kind of stew, 320. 
Thandai, coolness, a preparation 

of hemp, 326. 
Thieves, magical detection of, 

274 ff. 
Thikra, a potsherd, 262; thikrimar, 

the game of ducks and drakes, 

Tlireads, knotted, used in magic, 

17, 19, 49, 273, 314 : see Cord. 
Threshold, treading, at marriage, 

64 ; bride lifted over, 81. 
Throne verse, the, 238, 209. 
Tiger claws, used in magic, 255. 
TIja, the rites on the third day after 

death, 104 ; at the Muharram 

festival, 184. 
Tikki ka Kabab, meat balls fried 

in butter, 322. 
Tin, clay, 232. 
Tinyari, a Shi'a title, 14. 
Tira, a mole on the face, 68. 
Tiswan, the thirteenth-day rite 

after death, 106. 
Tobacco, 328 ; introduction of it 

to India, 328 n. 1. 
Toharii, circumcision, 48. 
Tola, a weight, 1791 grains, 46. 
Tombs, construction of, 102 ff. ; 

of Saints, 144 ; worship at, 145 ; 

inscriptions and figures on, 103. 
Tonsure, 38 ff. 

Tooth-twig, the, 68, 125, 306. 
Topi, a cap, 46, 169. 
Tor, a kind of pulse, 321. 

Tora,an anklet with bells attached, 

Tosha, provisions for a journey, 

Travelling, rules for, 278 ff. 
Tray, the Fairy, 269 f . ; of Fruit, 

Treasure, buried, disclosure of, 264. 
Tree, part of, used in charms, 

244 f. 
Tughlaq Shahi dynasty, the, 5. 
Turana, stale rice, 321. 
Turban, the, tied at marriage, 73 

shapes of, 293, 302. 
Turmeric, taboo of, 66 : see 

Turra, a feathered plume worn on 

the head, 179 ; a flower orna- 
ment, 312. 
Tutor, the, respect for, 51 f. 

Ubala, boiled Khichari (q.v.), 321. 
'Ud, lignum aloes ; batti, pastilles, 

67, 73, 91, 104, 169, 181, 236; 

'uddan, 'iidsoz, a censer for 

burning aloes wood, 160, 193. 
Ugal, the refuse of chewed betel, 

139, 271 ; ugaldan, a spittoon, 

'Umar al 'adil, al fariiq, the second 

Khalifa, 10, 122, 153, 217. 
Ummu Kulaiim, daughter of the 

Prophet, 123. 
Uncle, the maternal, functions of, 

'Unsar, the elements, in magic, 
_ 221. 

Unt Shah, King Camel, a Muhar- 
ram Faqir, 181. 
Untouchables, the, 4. 
Urine, incontinence of, a charm 

against, 258. 
'Urs, the death-day celebration of 

a Saint, 140, 144, 168, 188, 196, 

197, 210, 216. 
'Ushr, tithes, in magic, 223. 
'Usman Ghani, the third Khalifa, 


Veiling and unveiling, of women, 

80, 85. 
Venus, the Dispositions of, 32. 



Vessels, used for cooking, 317. 

Vigil, kept at night, 20, 36, 54, 
107, 134, 161, 190, 196, 197, 202, 
204, 208, 272 ; of festivals, 108, 
195, 203, 214. 

Vijaya, a preparation of hemp, 

Virginity, proofs of, 82. 

Vows and obligations, 134 ff. ; at 
the Muharram festival, 162, 160, 
181, 183; to Pir Dastagir, 
193 f. ; at the Ramazan festival, 
205; by Shi'as, 182; in the 
Panjab, 182 ; at Baroda, 182 ; 
to Shah Madar, the Saint, 195 ; 
to Qadirwali Sahib, 198 ; to 
Mas'QdGhazi, 201. 

Wafatnama, an account of the 

Prophet's death, 189. 
Wahadiyat al wujiid, unity of 

existence, 294. 
WahhabI sect, the, titles of, 3 ; 

tenets of, 4 ; law school of, 16 ; 

object to the use of the rosary, 

Wajib, that which is required, 

111 ; wajibu-l-watar, special 

prayers, 130, 206. 
Wakil, the representative of the 

bride and bridegroom at the 

wedding, 74. 
Waqf, the endowment of a mosque, 

&c., 149. 
Wasawa Shah, the Saint, 18. 
Washers, the, of the corpse, 91. 
Wasiqa, a will, 89 ; wasiy, an 

executor, 89 ; wasiyatnama, a 

wiU, 89. 
Wasma, hair dye, 305. 
Wassin, the controller of grief, 

Wasta, the pelting-place, near 

Mecca, 119. 
Water, distributed at festivals, 

168, 183 ; running, used in 

ablution, 55 n. 1 ; mode of 

drinking, 316 ; pots, at mar- 
riage, 69 ; covers rent, 71. 
Waving, as a protective, 26, 45, 

49, 63, 142, 212, 238, 261, 262, 


Wa'z, a sermon, preached at the 
grave, 105. 

Wazir, a prime-minister, 170 ; 
Waziri tribe, marriage by cap- 
ture, 58. 

Weaning of a child, 40. 

Wedding : see Marriage ; dress, 
measuring for, 69. 

Weeks, days of the, prognostica- 
tions from, 262 f. 

Weighing, of a King, 191. 

Wick, the charmed : see Pnlita, 

Widow, re-marriage, 56 ; bangles 
broken, 95 ; dress of, 95. 

Wife, first, dedications to avert 
jealousy of, 211. 

Wills, 89. 

Wives, number of, allowed, 85 f. 

Women, admittance of, to mosques, 
148 ; meetings of, 139 ; seclu- 
sion and veiling of, 283. 

Worship, appliances for, 144 ff. 

Wrestling, 337. 

Wuzu', the minor ablution, 92, 
117, 125, 130, 220, 283, 316. 

Yakhni, broth, a kind of meat 

stew, 318, 319. 
Yasin, the thirty-sixth chapter of 

the Koran, 89, 90. 
Yaumu-1-nahr, the festival, 214. 
Yazid, Governor of Syria, 153 ff. 
Yellow, a colour of ceremony, 43 ; 

used at marriage, 83. 
Yogini, the, 278. 
Yiisuf, Joseph, 78. 

Zabh, the ritual slaughter of 

animals, 167, 196, 316 f. 
Zacha, zachha-khana, the delivery 

room, 36. 
Zafartakya, an iron prong carried 

by Faqirs, 293. 
Zahir, PIr, the Saint, 202. 
Zaicha, a horoscope, 260. 
Zaidiyan, a household of Saints, 

Zainu-1-abidin, son of Husain, 

Zaitun, olive stones, 150. 



Zakat, alms, prescribed rates, 109, 
113, 120, 297 ; in magic, 223. 

Zamin, a protector, 137, 160. 

Zamzam, the holy well at Mecca, 
90, 118, 316. 

Zang, tinkling bells, worn by 
Faqirs, 172. 

Zar-i-fislian, paper sprinkled with 
gold dust, 52. 

Zarafa, chess, 332. 

Zarda, yellow, of stews, 319. 

Zarih, a cenotaph, 207. 

Zifaf, taking the bride to her hus- 
band's house, 84. 

Zikr, ecstatic devotion, 293, 297 ; 
forms of, 288. 

Zinda Shah Madar, the Saint, 
195 ff., 289. 

Ziyarat, a visit to a grave, 100, 
104, 106, 107, 157. 

Ziyau-d-din Abii Najib Sahra- 
wardl, the Saint, 288. 

Zodiac, the signs of, consulted in 
marriage, 60; in magic, 221, 

Zoribazi, chess, 332. 

Zuha, prayer before noon, 111. 

Zulir, midday prayer. 111. 

Zulaikha, wife of Potiphar, 78. 

Zulf, the side locks, 83, 303. 

Zu-1-baisun, the spirit that occu- 
pies bazars, 233. 

Zu-1-fiqar, faqar, cleaver of the 
vertebrae, the sword carried in 
procession at the Muharram 
festival, 160. 

Zu-1-qumain, he of the two horns, 
Alexander the Great, 139. 

Zu-n-nurain, a title of the Khalifa 
'Usman, 122, 


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